Two-Thirds of Sub-Saharan Africa Population Have No Access to Electricity

10 may 2018

Sub-Saharan Africa consists of 48 countries whose economic development remains one of the most urgent problems in the world. Half of the region GDP is accounted only for two countries: Nigeria and the Republic of South Africa. The efforts of the African countries and external help have produced certain results but the average gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) remains at the level of Int'l$ 3.5 thousand, experts note in a new bulletin on the current trends in the world economy.

According to the specialists, the fuel and energy balance of Sub-Saharan Africa is prevailed by traditional biofuel accounting for 61.4% of primary power consumption in the region. Without regard to the RSA (this country accounts for almost a quarter of all primary power consumption in the region, and biofuel provides only 11% of primary consumption), this indicator amounts to 77%. The other three largest economies of the region, Nigeria, Angola and Ethiopia, cover 80%, 92% and 49% of internal primary energy demand with biofuel.

Almost 95% of coal produced and consumed in Sub-Saharan Africa countries is concentrated in the RSA, the experts note. About 75% of produced oil accounts for two major oil producing countries of the region which are also members of OPEC – Nigeria (40% in 2015) and Angola (34%). Almost all oil which is produced in the region is exported (oil export in 2015 amounted to 258.4 million tons of oil equivalent with production of 265.1 million tons of oil equivalent and import of 27.3 million tons of oil equivalent), and slightly over 80 million tons of oil equivalent remain in the region for primary consumption (14% of primary consumption). In addition, more than 70% of natural gas in the region is produced in Nigeria, and two-thirds of it is exported. Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, which recently joined OPEC (Gabon in 1975-1994, from 2016 and Equatorial Guinea from 2017) in 2015 in aggregate accounted for about 10% of oil production in this region.

In the 21st century, the GDP of Sub-Saharan Africa kept pace with the global level, but fell below it in 2015-2017. In parallel, the population is rapidly growing, which creates great difficulties in the development of human capital and poverty reduction. By 2040, the population may grow by 0.7-0.9 billion of people who must be provided with work, food and energy. But several small rapidly developing countries, for example, Gabon and Mauritius indicate a principal possibility of improving the level of the region development.

For more information see the bulletin "Sub-Saharan Africa: Difficulties of Development and Problems of Energy Sector."

The other bulletins on current global economic trends can be found in Publications.