African nations have a variety of development needs, but all share a common ambition to industrialise. Expanding access to reliable and affordable electricity sits at the heart of development. However, energy sectors on the continent face a wide range of interlocking challenges, including low access rates, unreliable network infrastructure and high energy costs. Furthermore, energy for productive use is low by international standards, and most industries are constrained by chronic electricity disruptions and technical losses – undermining industrial investments, productivity and economic development more broadly. The continent’s electricity shortage is therefore a binding constraint for industrial production and economic expansion. Yet Africa has abundant and underexploited renewable energy resources. The estimated potential of renewable energy capacity could more than satisfy the continent’s annual energy demand of 705 terawatt hours.
7 Nov 2023