News / Asia

ADB: Electricity Access Crucial for Burma's Development

Burma's President Thein Sein (C) inspects Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) Kawasaki Thermal Power Plant in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, April 22, 2012. Burma's President Thein Sein (C) inspects Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) Kawasaki Thermal Power Plant in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, April 22, 2012.
x
Burma's President Thein Sein (C) inspects Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) Kawasaki Thermal Power Plant in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, April 22, 2012.
Burma's President Thein Sein (C) inspects Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) Kawasaki Thermal Power Plant in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, April 22, 2012.
VOA News
The Asian Development Bank says urgent efforts are needed to help improve access to electricity in Burma, where only a quarter of the population has power.

The Manila-based bank says whole areas of the country will be "severely hampered" in their efforts to advance economically if the electricity shortage is not addressed.

Burma's per capita electricity consumption is among the lowest in Asia. The ADB estimates that only one in four people have access to electric power. In some rural areas, the rate is as low as 16 percent.

In its initial assessment of Burma's energy sector, the ADB says the country has a wealth of possibilities for power generation, including oil and gas exploration and other more renewable sources.

But it says a lack of financial resources has hampered its ability to make the energy reforms needed to help reduce poverty. The under-developed country is recovering from decades of economic and political isolation under its former authoritarian military leaders.

But since a new government took power last year, international investors have flocked to the Southeast Asian country. Fueled by interest in Burma's untapped reserves of oil and gas, the International Monetary Fund says direct foreign investment in the country will rise 40 percent to a record $3.99 billion this year.

The ADB says international investment should focus on several medium to long-term projects, including rehabilitating the country's dilapidated power grid, as well as developing a comprehensive plan for hydropower and expanding use of gas power plants.

It also warned that international investment must also take into account issues of sustainability and protection of the environment.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid