There is a direct correlation between economic growth and electricity supply. If Sub-Saharan Africa is to fulfil its promise, it needs power and lots of it, says consultancy group McKinsey in a new research report.
Nearly 600m people in the region lack access to electricity. Only seven countries – Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Namibia, Senegal and South Africa – have electricity access rates of more than 50%, it says. The rest of the region has an average grid access rate of just 20%. As South Africans will very well know, having access to the grid doesn’t mean there is actually constant access to electricity.
Demand in the region is expected to increase fourfold by 2040, when an estimated 70% of the population is forecast to have grid access, according to McKinsey. More than 25% of electricity will come from renewable sources, while 40% of new capacity by 2040 could come from gas.