The Grand Inga hydroelectric project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has long been touted as the solution to Africa’s energy deficit. With eight combined power stations at Inga Falls generating 40GW-70GW of electricity, the proposed project would have the capacity to sustainably serve at least 40% of the continent’s energy requirements. But Grand Inga has remained a largely illusory megaproject since the 1990s.

As attempts to develop Grand Inga have failed, many a policymaker has abandoned hope of the project ever being realised. That was until mid-June, when Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group was formally awarded a contract to develop Inga — the first time a single company has been appointed to develop the entire project...

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