600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity

Some 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity, said the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), based in Addis Ababa.

The UNECA, which unveiled on Tuesday the findings of a study entitled “Energy Prices in Africa: Transition to Clean Energy for Africa’s Industrialization”, added that 900 million Africans do not have access to clean cooking fuel, noting that electricity access rates in 24 countries on the continent are below 50 percent.

“There is no way Africa will progress better if we do not invest adequately in energy and ensure affordable access for all,” UNECA Executive Secretary Vera Songwe said, urging countries to ensure that prices reflect costs in the energy sector.

The study “laments the fact that Africa relies mainly on fossil fuels and biomes instead of diversifying its primary energy supply, given its plethora of resources (renewable and non-renewable)”.

“Households use %86 of biofuels and waste energy for cooking, while the transport sector consumes %78 of oil. Natural gas is mainly used in the industrial sector,” it points out.

“Access to cheap and clean energy is an essential component of Africa’s transformation and industrialization,” said Oliver Chinganya, Director of the African Centre for Statistics (ACS), who moderated a seminar dedicated to the presentation of this study.

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