Knowledge Note

"Learn why Sub-Saharan Africa's electricity access gap may only be improved by investing in its other infrastructural developments simultaneously."

Access to reliable electricity is a prerequisite for the economic transformation of economies in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), especially in a digital age. Yet the electricity access rate in the region is often substantially low, households and businesses with access often face unreliable service, and the cost of the service is often among the highest in the world. This situation imposes substantial constraints on the region's economic activities, provision of public services, adoption of new technologies, and quality of life.

This Overview of the World Bank Group and Agence Française de Développement book, Electricity Access in Sub-Saharan Africa : Uptake, Reliability, and Complementary Factors for Economic Impact, makes the case that policy makers need to adopt a more comprehensive and long-term approach to electrification in the region—one centered on the productive use of electricity at affordable rates. Such an approach is the best way to achieve faster and more sustainable development progress while addressing the broad challenges of affordability, low consumption, and financial viability of utilities, as well as ensuring equitable provision between urban and rural areas.

This Knowledge Note is an overview of a co-publication by the World Bank Group and the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency). It was authored by Moussa P. Blimpo and Malcolm Cosgrove-Davies. To access the full book, please click here.