Living Without Electricity In Africa

In sub-Saharan Africa over 580 million people live without electricity. Over 80% of the sub-Saharan population depends on fuelwood, charcoal, and animal dung for cooking energy. Solid fuels used by the poor, pollutes the indoor air and causes more deaths than malaria. Ten million women and children die from the wood they routinely search for to use as fuel. Cutting down trees for fuel causes land degradation and other related problems to the environment.

Resources exist in Africa to meet its energy needs. Hydroelectricity is the largest source of power in a number of countries due to the following river systems:

  • Nile
  • Congo
  • Niger
  • Volta
  • Zambezi

Other sources of power for regions of Africa can be found in:

  • Oil  and gas in the north and west
  • Coal for south
  • Geothermal
  • Solar in isolated areas

Currently, West Africa experiences blackout on a consistent basis.


“The pooling and sharing of energy resources would revolutionize the power sector in West Africa. Integrating power systems would enable countries to have a reliable  and affordable supply of electricity.”

– Ini Urua, NEPAD, African Development Bank

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