Solar energy, wind power, hydropower schemes and bio-energy could become an engine for economic and social development in all African countries, World Energy Council (WEC) Africa regional manager Dr Latsoucabé Fall stated on Thursday.
He added that these clean power sources would also allow the continent to preserve the environment, while creating jobs and meeting local energy needs.
The WEC pointed out that Africa currently held 9,7% of the world's total proven crude oil resources, 8,2% of the world's natural gas resources and 5,9% of the world's hard oil resources.
It also boasted 12,4% of the world's economically exploitable hydropower capability, the WEC stated.
"These resources are not well developed to meet the growing needs of the continent. Yet there are huge prospects for the development of these resources, and significant opportunities for technology deployment and investments channelling that are supported by high profitability rates, cheap labour costs and low production costs," Fall noted.
The African energy sector, however, was faced with weak energy infrastructure and facilities, as well as huge financial difficulties that were hindering the sustainable development of the continent, the WEC added.
Further, the council stated that Africa was also challenged by weak commercial energy consumption, which represented only 3% of the world's total, saying this was overwhelmingly dominated by traditional biomass use in an unefficient and unhealthy way.
Fall will be a keynote speaker at the Energy Indaba 2010, to be held in Johannesburg in February.