Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 80% of global population without electricity

A NEW report, “Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report,” has revealed that 567 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria, had no electricity in 2021.

That year, the population accounted for over 80 per cent of the global population without electricity.

The ICIR reports that Wordometer, a credible data collating platform, currently puts Africa’s population at 1.4 billion, meaning that nearly one-third of the continent might not have electricity that year.

The report also shows that 675 million people are currently without electricity, and another 2.3 billion rely on harmful cooking fuels worldwide.

The report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO), was released on Tuesday, June 6. 

It shows that the world is not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) seven for energy by 2030.

This year marks the halfway point for achieving SDGs by 2030. SDG seven seeks to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. The goal includes:

  • Reaching universal access to electricity and clean cooking.
  • Doubling historic levels of efficiency improvements, and
  • Substantially increasing the share of renewables in the global energy mix.

“Attaining this goal will have a deep impact on people’s health and well-being, helping to protect them from environmental and social risks such as air pollution and expanding access to primary health care and services,” part of a statement issued by WHO on the report on Tuesday said.

The statement notes that to meet SDG seven targets and to ensure that people fully benefit from the socio-economic gains of the shift to sustainable energy, it is necessary to structurally reform international public finance and define new opportunities to unlock investments.

“The report also finds that mounting debt and rising energy prices are worsening the outlook for reaching universal access to clean cooking and electricity. Current projections estimate that 1.9 billion people will be without clean cooking and 660 million without electricity access in 2030 if we do not take further action and continue with current efforts.”

According to the findings, the gaps will negatively impact the health of the most vulnerable populations and accelerate climate change. 



    The report will be presented to top decision-makers at a special launch event on July 11 2023 at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, ahead of the second SDG Summit in September 2023 in New York.

    In 2020, The ICIR reported how citizens paid more for darkness than electricity in Nigeria.

    In another report that year, this organisation revealed how poor electricity supply killed businesses in one of the country’s states.

    On May 25, The ICIR reported how the lack of electricity caused clashes and killings between communities in Benue State.

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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