The most simple tasks can be a challenge without clean and affordable energy. In Africa 1.2 billion people live without any access to electricity at all.
In areas without safe and reliable access to electricity, children struggle to find light to do homework, families cook food over smoky open fires, hospitals can’t power life-saving equipment or refrigerate medicines, and businesses can’t operate at full capacity.
Sustainable and reliable access to energy enables people to work their way out of poverty, and not just by powering basic services but creating opportunities for economic activities.
Electricity also allows people to connect to mobile networks and the internet, which unlocks many more learning and business opportunities. In Africa, the current generation of youth needs electricity to finish school, access good healthcare, and enter the workforce in a meaningful way.
For millions of people around the world, the lack of electricity access equates to a cycle of poverty, limiting opportunity, hope, and potential. Tackling the lack of electricity access will be one of the biggest challenges for all African countries over the coming decades; it will also be one of the biggest opportunities to finally alleviate extreme poverty. It is now time to seize this opportunity.
Nearly one billion people in sub-Saharan Africa are projected to gain access to electricity by 2040, but because of rapid population growth, 530 million people living mainly in rural areas will remain without electricity access.
Africa Quick Facts
6 out of 10
people living in sub-Saharan Africa don’t have access to electricity.
of health centres and nearly three-quarters of primary schools in Africa have to function with no electricity at all.
8 out of 10
people in sub-Saharan Africa heat their homes and cook food using open fires.
of African businesses own or share a generator to help compensate for power outages and unreliable electricity from the grid.