The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its 2019 edition of the Africa Energy Outlook, a comprehensive and detailed work to date on energy across the African continent, with a particular emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa.
It includes detailed energy profiles of 11 countries that represent three-quarters of the region’s gross domestic product and energy demand, including Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana.
The report finds that current policy and investment plans in African countries are not enough to meet the energy needs of the continent’s young and rapidly growing population, but it also makes clear that Africa’s energy future is not predetermined. Current plans would leave 530 million people on the continent still without access to electricity in 2030, falling well short of universal access, a major development goal. But with the right policies, it could reach that target while also becoming the first continent to develop its economy mainly through the use of modern energy sources. Drawing on rich natural resources and advances in technology, the continent could by 2040 meet the energy demands of an economy four times larger than today’s with only 50% more energy.