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Poverty and Energy in Africa – A Brief Review

Stephen Karekezi



The objective of this paper is to provide a summary overview of the African energy sector and briefly examine the nexus of poverty and energy in the region. While the paper uses continent-wide data, the emphasis is placed on sub-Saharan Africa – the region where the need to improve modern energy services for the poor is particularly acute. For readers who are unfamiliar with Africa, the paper starts with a succinct review of the continent’s key demographic and socio-economic characteristics. The paper then, presents important elements of the continent’s energy consumption and supply sub-sectors. It ends with the identification of key drivers that are likely to decide the future direction of the sub-Saharan Africa’s energy sector. The paper stresses that these key drivers will, to a significant extent, determine the latitude that the region’s decision makers will have in tackling the enormous challenge of meeting the modern energy needs of sub-Saharan Africa’s poor.

Keywords: Poverty, energy, Africa




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