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In the dark

Par Zyad Limam - Publié en mai 2024
Night view of the city of Nairobi, capital of Kenya.
Night view of the city of Nairobi, capital of Kenya.

We often talk about emergence, the future, growth... Despite this flood of well meaning words and (legitimate) hopes, a few truths need to be stated as a prerequisite. For example: Africa is a continent with no energy. Both literally and figuratively. We consume around 5% of the world's primary energy, even though we account for 20% of its population. Today, despite catch up efforts and investments, almost 60% of the continent has no access to electricity, i.e. more than 600 million people, the vast, vast majority of them in sub Saharan Africa. Three quarters of Africans still do not have access to clean cooking methods. Global installed capacity is around 200 GW, 131.5 GW in sub Saharan Africa and 68.25 GW if we exclude South Africa. France alone accounts for 150 GW. India, with a population almost equivalent to that of Africa and where the energy situation remains fragile, produces almost 430 GW. This shows just how far behind we are.

Being permanently in the dark has a dramatic impact on people's development, growth and quality of life, particularly for the most disadvantaged. Power cuts, sometimes lasting several days, are...

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