Last week, a new atlas released by the UN Environment and the African Development Bank, reveals that energy consumption in Africa is the lowest in the world, and per capita consumption has remained almost constant since 2000.
The atlas has been developed in collaboration with the Environment Pulse Institute, United States Geological Survey and George Mason University, a press release stated.
Atlas indicates access to electricity
The atlas consolidates information in the “form of detailed ‘before and after’ images, charts, maps and other satellite data from 54 countries through visuals detailing the challenges and opportunities in providing Africa’s population with access to reliable, affordable and modern energy services”.
Director and regional representative of the UN Environment, Africa Office, Juliette Biao, commented: “The atlas makes a strong case that investments in green energy infrastructure can bolster Africa’s economic development and bring it closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
“It is therefore an important policy guide for African governments as they strive to catalyse national development by making use of their energy resources.”
Continent’s energy resources
The atlas shows both the potential and the fragility of the continent’s energy resources, which are at the heart of Africa’s socio-economic development. Read more…
It highlights some success stories of sustainable energy development around the continent, but it also puts the spotlight on major environmental challenges associated with energy infrastructure development.
“This atlas will be instrumental to ease access to information and data in the energy sector for all stakeholders, including the donor community, African governments and the private sector,” Vice-President in charge of power, energy, climate and green growth at the African Development Bank, Amadou Hott, said.
The chart also indicates that Africa’s power reserve is led by oil (7,6%), followed by natural gas (7,5%) and coal (3,6%).
However, a growing population, sustained industrialisation and rising urbanisation mean that energy demand in Africa is increasing.
According to information in the atlas, only an insignificant fraction of the existing energy potential in Africa has been tapped into—leaving the continent lagging behind in the production and manufacturing sectors due to low and unreliable access to energy.
Download the report here