(Afdb, Jan 2018)
In line with its High 5 development priorities and, in particular, its agenda to Light up and power Africa, the African Development Bank plans to reach 29.3 million people in Africa with electricity by 2020.
The President of the Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, made this disclosure at the High Level Event on “New Way of Working: From Vision to Action-National, Regional and Global Dimensions” at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sunday. He pledged support for the New Way of Working as “crucially important” and indicated that it requires a new way of tackling development issues.
(TheBeamMagazine, Jan 2018)
As we start 2018, there is good news and bad news for Africa’s energy. First, the bad news. There is a lot to do. An estimated 600 million Africans do not have access to electricity that would allow them to be productive contributors to the economy. Roughly the same number of Africans also lack access to clean cooking fuels. The good news is that the solutions are not beyond our reach; we simply need technology, policy and finance to work together. Embracing integration and the moment, stopping the harmful subsidies and laying the table (policy environment) will help move forward faster. Africa is rising indeed, but it cannot rise in the dark.
As off-grid technology costs keep falling, the International Energy Agency (IEA) recently estimated that by 2030, 195 million people, or 29% of the world’s unelectrified population, will gain electricity from off-grid solutions, especially off-grid solar.
Electricity provision has never been an issue Ethiopia has been able to solve. And with the inclusion of more power consuming projects, like the Industrial Parks in different parts of the country, the problem is unlikely to abate soon. But in discussing the shortage of electricity, it is critical to note that there are those who have no access to it, to begin with. Rural electrification projects are just as essential to the country's development goals, by way of improving domestic resource mobilisation and creating job opportunities, as most of the government's economic agendas, if not more.
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