Africa has been described as having the worst situation in the world when it comes to access to power according to a recent McKinsey report. It states that this translates to 600 million Africans and the future according to trends is not any brighter –no pan intended- because trends show that over 60 percent of us will still lack access to electricity by 2020.
Thought there are a few countries in Africa with access rates of over 50 percent they number only 7 namely Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Namibia, Senegal and South Africa.
While the rest of the developing world has seen electricity grid distribution increase by 20 percent Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where per-capita access rates are actually falling!
When we take a look at the areas covered by the electrical grid there is a common thread that can be identified. The power is both unreliable and costly with the manufacturing sector estimated to loose 56 days in a year due to power outages while paying 3 times more than in the developed world when it is available.
The situation described above means that economic development will continue to experience anemic growth as electricity is a vital ingredient even in the fight to eradicate poverty.