How we can close the 28 billion dollar-a-year energy gap in Africa

PUBLISHED: Tue, 14 Jul 2020 15:50:43 GMT
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Africa needs to spend 28.6 billion-a-year until 2030 to have any hope of to closing Africa’s yawning energy gap, but it is unclear where the money will come from.

Most Africans live without electricity as most nations struggle to generate the electricity the continent’s emerging economies need. South Africa’s national power generator Eskom – with a struggling national grid putting out 40,000 MW – generates half of the continent’s electricity. Even South Africa struggles to keep the lights on and countries with tiny electricity, like Malawi, struggle even more and find it an obstacle to growth.     

Nigerian Damilola Ogunbiyi, the special representative for sustainable energy foraAll and Co-Chair of United Nations-Energy, confirmed that the energy gap in Africa was huge and would need at least $28.6 billion-a-year, until 2030, to close it. She told CNBC Africa that the question was how to gather the money.

“We need everything on the table. We need public sector support and also private money to come in. There can’t be one source of money. We need to convince private investors that putting power into Africa it is an investment,” says Ogunbiyi.  

“I think what this pandemic has taught us is that if we don’t work together, then everyone is going to suffer.  

Ogunbiyi was encouraged greatly by the electrification programme in the country of her birth. She said five million Nigerians, in rural areas, had been connected to solar power.

“In a large scale oil energy producing nation, that is not bad,” she says

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