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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Off-Grid Challenge

electrical power in africa

Off the grid



Sub-Saharan Africa's lack of electrical power

One of the most persistent problems to creating maintainable economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa is the lack of electrical power.


More than 69% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa has no access to electricity. Sub-Saharan Africa is considered the portion of Africa that lies south of the Sahara Desert: this portion includes all of Central, West, East and South Africa. More than 69% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa has no access to electricity. 

In the rural areas of Africa, the number of people without access to electricity rises to more than 85%. In other words, that is over 600 million people in the 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa lacking access to electricity.

Twelve U.S. government agencies, whose combined capabilities form the backbone of Power Africa, are working closely with African governments to prioritize and address key legal, regulatory and policy constraints to investment, and to implement measures that will sustain growth and enable successful governance of a growing power sector throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Zeneba Louki (67) left, with Etta Brahim (36) outside her home with her children (L-R), Saleh Mahamad (7), Moussa Mahamed (5), Mohamed Ali (2) and Fatima Moussa (2). Her elder sister Ashta hamid is in red. There is only seven days of food for the whole family in their little white bag.
Zeneba Louki (67) left, with Etta Brahim (36) outside her home with her children (L-R), Saleh Mahamad (7), Moussa Mahamed (5), Mohamed Ali (2) and Fatima Moussa (2). Her elder sister Ashta hamid is in red. There is only seven days of food for the whole family in their little white bag.

Notable transactions undertaken in the first year of the initiative include the ongoing negotiation of Corbetti Geothermal, the first phase of a potential 1,000 MW geothermal generation project and Ethiopia’s first independent power project; advancing nearly 500 MW of wind projects in Kenya; financial support for a 10 MW mini-hydro and a 5 MW solar project in Tanzania; and supporting power sector-wide privatization efforts in Nigeria.  Additional efforts include the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) Off-Grid Challenge.

To put 600 million people into perspective, the United States has a total population of 314 million people. Sub-Saharan Africa has enormous natural resources, including natural gas, geothermal, hydro, wind and solar. Geothermal drilling for resources is available in abundance but is very expensive.

In the 21st century, more than 69% of sub-Saharan Africa still has no access to electricity.

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