Analysis: Governments Must Prioritise Off-Grid Energy in Africa’s Economic Recovery
Nick Hurd is senior adviser to Bboxx and former UK Minister for International Development and Climate Change & Dr Priti Parikh is associate professor at UCL and co-author of a recent report, “Off-Grid Energy and Economic Prosperity. Evidence on the relationship between off-grid electricity access and local economic well-being in sub-Saharan Africa”
The impact of COVID-19 on sub-Saharan Africa’s economy has been acute. Growth contracted last year and the economy will likely not return to pre-pandemic levels until after 2022.
As the G7 and others line up to express their solidarity, governments should be focused on ending energy poverty. It is widely understood that access to energy is a major accelerator of economic development. The last 18 months have exacerbated some hard truths about the inequality of energy access, with those without access being hardest hit. Despite progress to date, sub-Saharan Africa continues to exhibit the lowest levels of electrification globally.
Photo courtesy of Russell Watkins/DFID.