REPORT | EmPowering Africa’s Most Vulnerable – Access to Solar Energy in Complex Crises

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There is an immediate need to address the widening energy access gap impacting vulnerable populations in Sub-Saharan Africa as a whopping 600 million people in Africa lack access to electricity, said a new report published by NORCAP and Boston Consulting Group.

Widening Energy Gap

Despite new capacity additions, energy poverty is likely to persist beyond 2030, as fast population growth outpaces efforts to increase access, the report said.

The energy gap between Africa and the rest of the world is also widening. As per the report, it will take another 60 years to achieve universal access.

Sub-Saharan Africa – Most Vulnerable Region

Sub-Saharan African countries face the most extreme humanitarian, development, and peace crises, as well as the most severe energy challenges.

The situation is particularly amplified in Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Uganda, where each country hosts over 1 million persons of concern and less than 50% of the population has access to electricity.

Displaced Populations Critically Exposed

Africa disproportionately represents about 33% of the global displaced population, with over 25 million displaced persons.

Roughly 90% of these displaced populations lack sufficient access to energy, including the large majority lacking any access to electricity.

Triple Nexus Approach: Humanitarian-Development-Peace

It is a framework that envisions stronger collaboration and coordination among humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding actors towards jointly defining Collective Outcomes.

It should be mentioned here that “Collective Outcomes” are the concrete and measurable results to be achieved over a period of three to five years in order to reduce people’s acute and chronic vulnerabilities and increase their resilience.

Solution: Rapid Deployment of Solar Developments

Securing energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa for the 22 million displaced persons lacking electricity, needs to be addressed through a combination of different technologies and solutions.

Solar is advantaged over conventional energy sources, not only due to lower costs but also due to its flexibility to be deployed at different levels of scale.