Expanding Access To Electricity: A Critical Step Towards Building A Sustainable Future For Kenyans

By Steve Biko Wafula / Published May 4, 2023 | 12:42 pm




KEY POINTS

The lack of access to electricity can perpetuate poverty, inequality, and social exclusion, as people are unable to access essential services and participate in economic activities that can improve their well-being.


Kenya Power Electricity

KEY TAKEAWAYS


South Sudan - With a population of over 11 million, only 7.2% of people have access to electricity. The country's long-running conflict has disrupted infrastructure development, making it difficult to extend the grid to rural areas. The government has launched initiatives to encourage private-sector investment in the energy sector.


Access to electricity is a fundamental human right that plays a critical role in advancing economic development and social progress.

Electricity enables people to access essential services, such as healthcare, education, and clean water, that can improve their quality of life. It also facilitates economic activities, such as agriculture, manufacturing, and entrepreneurship, that can create jobs, boost productivity, and generate income.

Moreover, access to electricity can enhance social inclusion and reduce inequality by providing opportunities for marginalized communities to participate in the modern economy.

In today’s world, access to electricity is more crucial than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of electricity in facilitating remote learning, telemedicine, and e-commerce.

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The global energy transition towards renewable energy sources has the potential to create new job opportunities, increase energy security, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Furthermore, access to electricity can improve the resilience of communities to natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes, by enabling emergency services and communication networks to function during crises.

In many parts of the world, however, millions of people still lack access to electricity. According to the International Energy Agency, around 759 million people worldwide do not have access to electricity, with the majority of them living in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The lack of access to electricity can perpetuate poverty, inequality, and social exclusion, as people are unable to access essential services and participate in economic activities that can improve their well-being. Moreover, the reliance on traditional energy sources, such as firewood, charcoal, and kerosene, can have adverse health effects, such as respiratory diseases and indoor air pollution, that disproportionately affect women and children.

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Therefore, expanding access to electricity should be a priority for policymakers, international organizations, and the private sector. Governments can play a critical role in promoting investments in the energy sector, improving regulatory frameworks, and encouraging private sector involvement. International organizations can provide technical assistance, financial support, and capacity building to countries that lack access to electricity. The private sector can contribute to expanding access to electricity by investing in renewable energy projects, developing innovative technologies, and providing energy services to underserved communities. By expanding access to electricity, we can create a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous world for all.

Access to electricity is a fundamental human right that is essential for economic development, social progress, and human well-being. However, in many parts of the world, millions of people still lack access to electricity. In this article, we will examine the challenges and advantages of providing electricity to the citizens of 14 countries with low electricity penetration.

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  1. South Sudan – With a population of over 11 million, only 7.2% of people have access to electricity. The country’s long-running conflict has disrupted infrastructure development, making it difficult to extend the grid to rural areas. The government has launched initiatives to encourage private-sector investment in the energy sector.
  1. Chad – With an electrification rate of 11.1%, Chad faces similar challenges to South Sudan, including a lack of infrastructure, underinvestment in the energy sector, and political instability.
  1. Burundi – Despite having abundant hydroelectric potential, only 11.7% of the population has access to electricity. The country faces financial constraints, low tariffs, and insufficient investment in the energy sector.
  1. Malawi – Malawi’s low electrification rate of 14.9% is due to a lack of investment in the energy sector, outdated infrastructure, and low levels of private sector involvement. The government has launched initiatives to attract private sector investment in renewable energy projects.
  1. Central African Republic (CAR) – The CAR has an electrification rate of 15.5%. Political instability and conflict have hampered infrastructure development and private-sector investment.
  1. Burkina Faso – With an electrification rate of 19%, Burkina Faso is implementing a range of initiatives to promote access to electricity, including expanding the grid, investing in renewable energy, and improving the regulatory framework.
  1. Congo – The Congo has an electrification rate of 19.1%, with most of the electricity generated by hydropower. The country has the potential to increase electricity generation through investments in hydropower and other renewable energy sources.
  1. Niger – With an electrification rate of 19.3%, Niger faces challenges such as a lack of investment in the energy sector, insufficient infrastructure, and political instability. The government has launched initiatives to promote private-sector investment in the energy sector.
  1. Madagascar – Madagascar has an electrification rate of 33.7%, with the majority of electricity generated by hydropower. The country is implementing initiatives to increase access to electricity, including expanding the grid and investing in renewable energy.
  1. Haiti – With an electrification rate of 46.9%, Haiti is one of the most energy-poor countries in the Western Hemisphere. The country faces challenges such as political instability, underinvestment in the energy sector, and a lack of regulatory framework.
  1. Ethiopia – With an electrification rate of 51.1%, Ethiopia has made significant progress in expanding access to electricity, particularly in rural areas. The country has invested heavily in hydroelectric and geothermal power, with plans to increase investment in other renewable energy sources.
  1. Nigeria – Nigeria has an electrification rate of 55.4%, with challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, underinvestment in the energy sector, and inefficient operations of the power sector. The government has launched initiatives to promote private-sector investment in the energy sector.
  1. Kenya – With an electrification rate of 71.4%, Kenya is one of the most energy-rich countries in East Africa. The country has invested heavily in renewable energy, including geothermal, wind, and solar power.
  1. Pakistan – With an electrification rate of 75.4%, Pakistan has made significant progress in expanding access to electricity. The country faces challenges such as a lack of investment in the energy sector, inefficiencies in the power sector, and an inadequate regulatory framework. The government has launched initiatives to promote renewable energy projects, attract private sector investment, and improve the regulatory framework.

Providing access to electricity is crucial for economic development, social progress, and human well-being. However, the 14 countries mentioned above face various challenges in expanding access to electricity, including political instability, insufficient infrastructure, underinvestment in the energy sector, and inadequate regulatory frameworks.

To address these challenges, governments must prioritize investments in the energy sector, encourage private sector involvement, and promote renewable energy projects to expand access to electricity to their citizens.

Related Content: 12.5 Million Kenyans And 42 Million Ethiopia Lack Electricity




About Steve Biko Wafula

Steve Biko is the CEO OF Soko Directory and the founder of Hidalgo Group of Companies. Steve is currently developing his career in law, finance, entrepreneurship and digital consultancy; and has been implementing consultancy assignments for client organizations comprising of trainings besides capacity building in entrepreneurial matters.He can be reached on: +254 20 510 1124 or Email: info@sokodirectory.com

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