Grand Inga: Blessing or Curse for Congo?

I read with interest on the BBC News a sentence at the very end of an article about Zimbabwe, which was in the news today because they printed $200,000 bills, that buy, well, a sack of sugar. The intriguing part was a note about Grand Inga, where the world’s longest power cables are being installed.

Grand Inga is a big plan. A plan so big that already people are lining up to shoot it down, and others are fighing to bring it. It’s the world’s biggest dam. A hydroelectric generating station so big it would supply the entire continent of Africa with power. Wow, that’s big.

It’s mostly a line helping out mining companies who have pledged big mines but need the juice to do it. Only a staggering six percent of Congolese have electricity at home.

The article linked me to a piece by the International Rivers Network, where they complained that since nobody is wired, the $50 billion price tag should pay to alleviate poverty, and put wires into the houses. This is one of those grand schemes that in a few years will be common knowledge, but you heard it first on Readuponit.