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The world’s worst countries for electricity access

10 June 2013 – Nigeria is the world’s second worst country in terms of people lacking access to electricity according to a World Bank report. Some 82.4 million Nigerians lack access to electricity according to this report, placing the country second last behind India, where over 300 million people lack access to electricity.

Among the bottom twenty countries in the world in terms of the number of people having access to electricity are Ethiopia with 63.9 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo with 55.9 million, Tanzania with 38.2 million, Kenya with 31.2 million, Sudan with 30.9 million, Uganda with 28.5 million, Mozambique with 19.9 million, Madagascar with 17.8 million, Burkina Faso with 14.3 million, Niger with 14.1 million, and Malawi with 13.6 million. It means 12 of the bottom 20 countries in terms of total numbers of people without access to electricity are in sub-Saharan Africa and of these eight have an electricity access rate below 20%.

The report is somewhat pessimistic that the global goal of sustainable energy for all by 2030 will be achieved due to the slow pace of progress in this direction by countries in Africa.

According to the report, the access challenge is particularly significant in sub-Saharan Africa, which is the only region where the rate of progress on energy access fell behind population growth in during 1990 to 2010.

Over 1.2 billion people are still without access to electricity worldwide, almost all of whom live in developing countries. About 2.8 billion use solid fuels – wood, charcoal, dung, other biomass, and coal – for cooking and heating. Every year fumes and smoke from open cooking fires kill about 1.6 million people, mostly women and children, from respiratory diseases, according to the report

It estimates that to achieve universal access to modern energy services by 2030, new capital investment of about US$48 billion will be needed every year in addition to worldwide annual investments of about US$450 billion just to sustain energy services at current levels.