Grand Inga -- The World Bank's Latest Silver Bullet for Africa

"Close to 600 million peoplein sub-Saharan Africa live in a state of permanent power outage. It is tempting to provide electricity to so many people with one ambitious silver bullet. The Grand Inga Dam would divert the Congo River near its mouth and, according to its promoters, meet the electricity needs of more than 500 million people. With a capacity of 40,000 megawatts, the scheme would be the world's largest hydropower project."

"The enthusiasm of the World Bank and other funders for mega-dams has a long history. Over the past 40 years, donors have poured billions of dollars intodams and associated transmission lineson the Congo River. The projects have been plagued by rampant corruption, perform far below capacity, and have failed to benefit the poor. About 85 percent of the electricity in the DRC is consumed by the mining industry, while only 6 to 9 percent of the population has access to electricity. Worse, the centralized nature of these investments has created a winner-takes-all system that has encouraged tension and civil war."

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