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Key findings
  • About two-thirds (65%) of Angolans live in zones served by the national electric grid, up 4 percentage points since 2019 (61%). o But only 14% of rural residents are within reach of the grid, compared to 92% of urban residents. More educated and economically better-off citizens are also far more likely to live in zones served by the electric grid than those with less schooling and lower economic status.
  • About six in 10 Angolans (59%) live in households that are connected to the national power grid.
  • Among those who are connected to the grid, 78% say their electricity works “most of the time” or “all of the time.”
  • Combining connection and reliability rates shows that fewer than half (47%) of all Angolans enjoy a reliable supply of electricity, including just 6% of rural residents and 28% of citizens experiencing high lived poverty.
  • Electricity ranks sixth among the most important problems that Angolans want their government to address.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of citizens say the government is doing a poor job of providing a reliable supply of electricity. This assessment is particularly widespread among rural residents (83%), the uneducated (79%), and the poor (74%).

In its Power Sector Action Plan, the Angolan government outlines a strategy to achieve a 60%  electrification rate by 2025, from a 2020 rate of 47% (República de Angola, 2016; Silva, 2021;  World Bank, 2020).  

That will require major advances in rural areas, where electrification is estimated at less than  10% (International Trade Administration, 2022; Pugliese, 2022).  

Promoting rural electrification is indispensable to a country’s socioeconomic development and is highlighted in Sustainable Development Goal 7: to “ensure access to affordable,  reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all” by 2030 (United Nations, 2022). By facilitating  efficient agricultural production, increases in employment and incomes, improved  educational and health outcomes, and cleaner cooking, access to reliable power has been  shown to significantly improve the welfare of rural communities (Garrigou, 2017; Grivas, 2021).  

A recent Afrobarometer survey provides an on-the-ground look at electricity access in  Angola. Findings show that while about two-thirds of Angolans live in zones served by the  electric grid, fewer than half enjoy a reliable supply of electricity, including just one in 20 rural  residents. 

Electricity ranks sixth on the list of problems that Angolans want their government to address,  but most citizens say the government is performing poorly on this priority. 

Asafika Mpako

Asafika is the communications coordinator for Southern Africa

Carlos Pacatolo

Carlos Pacatolo is the national investigator for Angola.