On a July 2008 report the World Bank assessed its own infrastructure engagement over the past 20 years and acknowledged it has learned an essential lesson: There is no longer a debate about whether infrastructure has a role to play in poverty reduction; it is crucial, the bank concluded. Modern, cost-effective, reliable and affordable infrastructure services are critical for sustainable development. Although South Africa does not have the water for hydroelectric power plants, other African countries such as Congo have tremendous hydroelectric power potential. From a financing perspective, the ability to separate out project risk from sovereign risk is important because it broadens the range of potential institutional investors for a given scheme. Access to electric power can be the deciding factor in a country's development. Mineral extraction is highly reliant on large supplies of electricity; with insufficient power, the wealth remains untapped.
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