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Energy in Africa is big business. The source of vast amounts of energy resources and often times similar amounts of political turmoil, Africa is home to one billion potential consumers whose growing demand for energy is greater than anywhere else in the world.

Despite Africa's wealth of resources, growth is hampered by inaccessible, unreliable, or unaffordable energy and the lack of purchasing power. However, Africa has unrealized potential as a pioneer in the new global energy economy. Skyrocketing demand and relatively little legacy energy infrastructure make Africa ripe for the expansion and development of green energy like wind and solar. Historically low emissions give most African nations surprising leverage when it comes to global carbon markets, which remain a largely untapped source of capital for developing new energy projects on the continent.

According to the South African government it has three key economic drivers: the processing and use of domestic raw materials for the benefit of the national economy; the movement of the economy toward knowledge-based industries; and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), whereby previously disadvantaged groups are provided with economic opportunities. The government is aiming for a 6 percent annual growth in GDP from these shifts.
Looking at the current economic situation in South Africa, it’s clear that the biggest assets are the country’s abundance of raw materials, including 80 percent of the world’s precious group metals (platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium) plus chromium, in just one vast deposit known as the Bushveld Complex. These resources, along with South Africa’s large deposits of gold and coal, provide the country’s main source of employment and 8 percent of its annual GDP.