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News release

Energy gaps: Slight, uneven progress still leaves many Africans without electricity, Afrobarometer survey shows

11 Apr 2024
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News release
Key findings
  • On average across 39 countries, about two-thirds (68%) of Africans live in enumeration areas (EAs) served by an electric grid, ranging from just 29% in Madagascar to 100% in Tunisia and Seychelles (Figure 1).
  • Six in 10 households (60%) are actually connected to an electric grid. Citizens in Seychelles and Mauritius enjoy universal coverage, but fewer than one-fourth of households are connected in Madagascar (22%) and Malawi (17%) (Figure 2).
  • Fewer than half (44%) of Africans enjoy a supply of electricity that works “most” or “all” of the time (Figure 3). o On average across 33 countries surveyed in both 2014/2015 and 2021/2023, this proportion has increased by just 4 percentage points.
  • Reliable electric service that works “most” or “all” the time is far more common in cities (65%) than in rural areas (24%) and increases with respondents’ economic status, ranging from 27% of the poorest households to 77% of the wealthiest (Figure 4).

Progress in electrification in Africa remains slow and uneven, the latest Afrobarometer Pan Africa Profile shows.  

The findings, based on 53,444 face-to-face interviews in 39 African countries, show that very  modest gains in access and connection still leave a majority of households without reliable  electricity. While experiences vary dramatically by country, on average, fewer than half of  households enjoy a reliable supply of electricity. Rural and poor households are particularly  disadvantaged – with regard not only to access and connection, but also to service quality. 

Overall, fewer than half of Africans are satisfied with their government’s performance on  electricity provision.