Four in ten Africans lack reliable power supply

Only four in ten Africans enjoy a reliable power supply. While about two-thirds of Africans live in areas with access to an electric grid, in some countries seven in 10 citizens – and as many as nine in 10 in rural areas – do not. Actual household connections to the grid are somewhat lower (60% on average), and equally variable across countries.

In a large survey, Afrobarometer has documented the reach and quality of electrical connections through nearly 54,000 interviews in 36 African countries as well as direct observations in thousands of communities across the continent. The survey findings suggest the development of adequate electricity infrastructure needs long-term commitments and deep pockets.

On average, only 69% of connected households actually have electricity that works most or all of the time. In Nigeria, while 96% of households are connected, only 18% of these connections function more than about half the time. In Ghana, 87% of households are connected, but only 42% of those connections provide reliable power.

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