Africa is the most under-supplied region of the world for electricity, and access to it is very different throughout the continent. While industry receives plenty of cheap power, 80% of the population lives off the power grid. As in other parts of the world, African economies utterly depend on electricity, “but levels of inequality are particularly pronounced here due to the inherent unevenness of ‘electric capitalism’ on the continent,” writes David A. McDonald in his recent book Electric Capitalism: Recolonising Africa on the Power Grid.
The international community is trying to improve the quality of life in Africa, and different sources of energy are being developed and installed. “Initial delivery of electric service to rural Africa is far from a ‘one size fits all’ technical solution, especially given the seasonal diversity of energy needs, as well as the availability and quality of candidate renewable energy resources”, argues S.R. Connors in an article titled “Providing Electricity Services to Rural Africa.