Africas's Energy Challenges

Updated on 09.08.2023
High School
History, geography and geopolitics

15 min read

Two out of three Africans have no access to modern, reliable energy sources. Their needs are therefore immense, especially as the continent's population is set to double by 2050. There are many obstacles to making the most of Africa's enormous energy potential. But other signals are green: following the success of the Paris climate summit in December 2015, the time has come to support the development of low-carbon energies. Africa could thus move straight into a new energy era without having to go through the various stages that developed countries have gone through to get there. In this respect, decentralized use of solar energy could be a real revolution.

Two out of three Africans do not have access to modern, reliable energy sources. The continent's energy needs are therefore considerable, especially given the fact that the population is expected to double by 2050. Many obstacles are preventing Africa from effectively leveraging the potential of its extensive fossil and resources, a situation that may have been made worse by declining global raw material prices, slower global growth and, in some countries, local governance issues. In other respects, however, the current environment is favorable. The successful conclusion of the Paris Climate Summit in December 2015 has created wide support to develop low-carbon energy sources. As a result, Africa may be able to transition directly to a sustainable energy future, thus bypassing the traditional path followed by the industrialized world. The use of decentralized solar systems could bring about a genuine energy revolution.


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