Electricity, key for Africa’s development – ECA top official

In Africa, nearly 600 million people, or 48% of the continent’s population, still lack access to electricity, with the majority living in rural areas.

 

The continent will not fully develop if hundreds of millions of its people continue to live without electricity, Economic Commission for Africa’s Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe said Thursday.

Songwe who was addressing a Res4Africa business-to-government high-level workshop on accelerating the renewable energy transition in Ethiopia said boosting access to electricity is key for Africa’s development. In her words, energy was at the heart of development and access to electricity would lift productivity within and across sectors.

She advised that policymakers need to enact policies and regulations that can quickly enhance the enabling environment for deployment of renewable energy programs in Africa and make it easy for the private sector to play its role in helping accelerate the energy transition on the continent.

“Africa has to act fast and now to increase the number of people with access to electricity. We have to quadruple our efforts on energy if we are to achieve the sustainable development goals and Agenda 2063,” said Mrs Songwe.

As a reminder, African Union’s Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years.

It builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.

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