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Electricity supply unreliable even for many grid-connected Africans

OPIC partner Nova Lumos makes home solar kits that are affordable and portable. OPIC partner Nova Lumos makes home solar kits that are affordable and portable.


A new survey of electricity access across Africa shows the regions where energy poverty is most severe and also highlights the fact that many households that are grid-connected still lack consistent access to power.

The survey from the African research group AfroBarometer says that in Africa, grid access is lowest in Burundi, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone, but that even in some countries like Nigeria, where the vast majority of the population is grid connected, only a small share of the population has regular, reliable power. In Nigeria, 96 percent of residents are grid-connected but only about 18 percent of those connections work more than half the time, the survey shows.  Several countries such as Guinea, Mali and Niger also have large disparities between access to electricity in urban and rural areas.

Africa’s large and geographically diverse population underscores the need for a variety of electricity solutions from major grid-connected power plants to off-grid solutions that can reach remote populations as well as more urban families, such as those in Nigeria, that lack a reliable source of power.

OPIC, through its support of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, has committed more than $1.6 billion in financing and insurance to energy projects in western, eastern and southern Africa. In Nigeria, OPIC financing is helping Nova Lumos introduce portable and affordable home solar kits.

See the AfroBarometer report here


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