Millions in African countries struggle to have power
From Zimbabwe, where many must work at night because it's the only time there is power, to Nigeria where collapses of the grid are frequent, the reliable supply of electricity remains elusive across Africa.
The electricity shortages that plague many of Africa's 54 countries are a serious drain on the continent's economic growth, energy experts warn.
In recent years South Africa's power generation has become so inadequate that the continent's most developed economy must cope with rolling power blackouts of eight to 10 hours per day.
Africa's sprawling cities have erratic supplies of electricity but large swaths of the continent's rural areas have no power at all. In 2021, 43 percent of Africans, about 600 million people, lacked access to electricity with 590 million of them in sub‐Saharan Africa, according to the International Energy Agency.
Investments of nearly $20 billion are required annually to achieve universal electrification across sub-Saharan Africa, according to World Bank estimates. Of that figure nearly $10 billion is needed annually bring power and keep it on in West and Central Africa.
There are many reasons for Africa's dire delivery of electricity including ageing infrastructure, lack of government oversight and a shortage of skills to maintain the national grids, according to Andrew Lawrence, an energy expert at the Witwatersrand University Business School in Johannesburg.
A historical problem is that many colonial regimes built electrical systems largely reserved for the minority white population and which excluded large parts of the Black population.
Today many African countries rely on state-owned power utilities.
Much attention has focused in the past two years on the Western-funded "Just...
- Log in to post comments