Power for the people? The chimera of pro-poor energy solutions

Recent discoveries of hydrocarbons in various African countries and the massive investments in energy generation capacity have created expectations that the blackouts and brownouts that several African countries have endured for the past decades will soon be a thing of the past. In East Africa, national economies have in recent years also been recording stellar growth rates which promise new opportunities and discontinuity with the past.

Despite this record, in its Africa Energy Outlook 2014, the International Energy Agency remarked: “More than 200 million people in East Africa are without electricity, around 80% of its population. Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda are among the most populous countries in East Africa and have the largest populations both with and without access to electricity.”

So, the irony is that as the region records world-beating economic growth rates, the majority of our co-citizens remain in conditions of energy poverty, forced to rely on alternative energy sources (notably biomass) to meet their energy needs.

Source: Spotlight Report 2018.