Africa: Sixty-five more years until electricity for all

| July 27, 2015

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Sub-Saharan Africa is currently unable to generate enough electricity for its citizens, according to a recent report.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan heads the Africa Progress Panel. Their report predicts that electricity will be available to all homes and businesses in Africa—by 2080.

Currently, energy systems often lack sufficient power, are inefficient, and distributed unequally. The World Bank estimates that persistent blackouts cut the economic output of sub-Saharan countries by over two per cent.

Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela’s widow, is a member of the Africa Progress Panel. She says she is taken aback by the prospect of a 65-year wait for electricity.

For his part, Mr. Annan says: “It is indefensible that Africa’s poorest people are paying among the world’s highest prices for energy.”

The report estimates that an investment of US$55 billion would be needed annually to achieve universal access to electricity.

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Photo: An electricity pylon in Somaliland being repaired by Edwin Mireri. Credit: IPS