President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called for Africa to unite, saying it is the only way to modernise and industrialise the continent.

President Mnangagwa made the remarks after touring the Soupiti Hydropower Project that will generate 450 megawatts of electricity when completed.

During the tour, President Mnangagwa was accompanied by his Guinean counterpart, President Alpha Conde, several government ministers including Guinea’s Minister of Energy, Mr Talibi Sylla as well as ambassadors from different countries accredited to Conakry.

Minister Sylla explained the scope of work being undertaken at the dam site.

Speaking to journalists after the tour, President Mnangagwa commended Guinea for the energy project, saying electricity is essential for modernisation and industrialisation.

“My brother, the President has briefed me his vision not only for Guinea but for the continent. The issue is that Africa must modernise, Africa must industrialise. One of the enablers to do so is the capacity to generate energy and this is one of the projects to realise that vision,” he said.

“Those with capacity and those without capacity to generate energy benefit from the global and continental interconnectedness and this is one of the projects directed to achieve that vision. We are benefiting from the vision of our forefathers who had foresight that Africa must be united. The only way for Africa to be meaningful to play its role internationally is for us to be united. The energy generated at the Kasana dam will initially benefit Guinea but there are plans to expand the project so that other countries in the region will also benefit. President Conde is thus following in the footsteps of Africa’s founding fathers.

President Mnangagwa also toured the Kaleta Central hydro electric power plant.

Commissioned in 2015, the 240-MW Kaleta hydroelectric facility lies on the Konkoure River in West Central Guinea, about 87 miles from the capital city of Conakry.

Chinese state-owned China International Water and Electric Corp (CIWEC) is undertaking construction works at the US$526 million scheme, which the company says has an average annual generating capacity of 965 million kWh.

The facility includes a roller-compacted concrete dam 72 feet in height by 5,069 feet in length, and the dam impounds a reservoir that has 23 million cubic feet of storage capacity and the facility’s powerhouse has three 80-MW vertical axis Francis turbines.

Guinea funded 25% of the project and China Exim Bank provided 75% with a preferential buyer’s credit.

The completion of the Kaleta scheme would increase Guinea’s hydroelectric generating capacity from 2012 levels of 128 MW to 368 MW.

President Mnangagwa visit is set to inspire Zimbabwe’s drive to construct more dams such as Kunzvi and Gwayi-Shangani which also have the capacity to generate power for the country.