Access to energy

Access to energy, an essential condition for development

The energy issue is crucial from a social and societal point of view since it contributes to several factors: poverty reduction through economic development, improved health, clean cooking facilities or even the electrification of health centres, food security, improved access to water through the operation of facilities - without energy, there is no drinking water - and lastly, the contribution to education and environmental protection. This very strong link with development explains today's growing mobilization of the various actors and stakeholders on the theme of access to energy and electrification, particularly in Africa today.

Moreover, population growth coupled with new lifestyles in some emerging countries are having a strong impact on the availability of energy resources. World energy demand is expected to increase by more than a third by 2035, with China, India and Middle Eastern countries accounting for nearly 60% of the increase. The increase in electricity is estimated to be around 70% by 2035.

Little progress in access to energy in the so-called "developing" countries

Because poverty often tends to accumulate, it is the same people who have no drinking water, electricity or sanitation.

Today, 1.4 billion people, mostly living in the so-called "developing" countries, live without electricity. In 2030, this figure is expected to be 1.2 billion, a very small decrease, even taking into account the expected growth of the world population.

Access to energy must first and foremost be a political objective.

In the world, the countries that have made the most significant progress in terms of access to electricity, both in terms of speed of action and coverage rate, are those in which the State has taken up the subject to make it a national objective. We can cite China, India and North Africa - particularly Algeria and Morocco, where the rate of connection to electricity in rural areas has reached 98%.

Africa, a composite continent and sub-Saharan Africa lagging behind in electrification

There are 3 Africa: North Africa, which has pursued a number of policies far ahead of the rest of the continent, Central Africa, itself subcomposed, with different advances in terms of access, and South Africa, the electric lung of the sub-Saharan zone. In sub-Saharan Central Africa, the rate of access to electricity is very low, particularly in rural areas where it is 12% on average. The situation there is even more critical than for populations with very low purchasing power.

African states are simultaneously faced with many other priorities: access to drinking water and sanitation, health, education... Often, electricity only comes in 4th or 5th position.


* One in five people don't have access to modern electricity.

* 3 billion people depend on wood, coal or animal waste for cooking and heating.

* Energy is the main contributor to climate change, accounting for about 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

* Reducing the carbon intensity of energy production is a key target for long-term climate goals.

Source United Nations