This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Energising poverty reduction in Africa
Executive summary ....................................................................................... 3 1 2 Introduction.................................................................................................... 6 Access: the African energy crisis .................................................................... 6 Energy and poverty in Africa .......................................................................... 6 Commercial energy in Africa .......................................................................... 8 Kenya case study ........................................................................................ 11 3 Treatment of energy in recent policy documents on Africa ............................ 13 Commission for Africa .................................................................................. 14 New Partnership for African Development energy strategy ........................... 15 4 European funding for energy in Africa: quantity and quality .......................... 17 GVEP approach ........................................................................................... 18 5 Reforming energy delivery in Africa .............................................................. 19 Affordability, accessibility, availability, sustainability ..................................... 19 ACP-EU Energy facility – Europe’s chance to help light up Africa ................. 20 6 Recommendations ...................................................................................... 21 References .................................................................................................. 24
This paper is part of a project funded by the EC under its Public Awareness funding line (B7-6000). The project website can be found at www.africanvoices.org.uk
Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005
keeps our hospitals running. So pervasive is energy in our lives that we generally fail to notice its importance. acute respiratory infection – an infection caused to a great extent by cooking on solid fuel in poorly ventilated homes. By 2030 there will be 650 million Africans living without electricity compared with the 509 million today. Africa produces 7% of the world’s commercial energy. Yet energy has long been the missing element in plans to transform Africa and tackle its people’s chronic poverty. Without a dramatic turnaround the number of Africans living without electricity will steadily increase.Executive summary Energy is crucial in battle to tackle Africa’s poverty … Over the centuries energy has helped transform and underpin human development. In the rural areas where the vast majority of Africans live 92 per cent of people has no electricity. 89 per cent. both non-renewable and renewable. Between 1990 and 1997 average per capita consumption fell from 695 kilograms of oil equivalent (kgoe) to 410 kgoe. Energy is needed to increase productivity and create jobs. Africans depend on biomass that places huge burden on poor people … There is a high level correlation between poverty and the amount and quality of energy consumed. Africa is the world’s least connected continent yet exports more commercial energy than it consumes … Africa has a great deal of under-exploited energy sources. It is needed to safely store medicines. cooks our food. fuels our industries and transports us near and far. Without substantial support Africa’s energy crisis will not be turned round. Despite this potential Africa has the world’s lowest per capita consumption of energy. Africa’s paradox is that though it desperately needs energy for economic growth and poverty reduction it is a net exporter of commercial energy. As the world’s largest aid donor the European Commission and the individual member states could have a major role in stimulating Africa’s energy revival. Energy is also vital if we are to achieve the Millennium Development Goals of halving poverty rates and improving health. This places a huge burden on poor women and children. More than a century after the invention of the light bulb only 23 per cent of people in sub-Saharan Africa have access to electricity. but only consumes 3% of commercial energy. to rely on biomass (wood. Many women in rural sub-Saharan Africa carry 20 kilograms of Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 3 . Poverty condemns the vast majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa. Per capita energy consumption in sub-Saharan Africa has been in decline. cooking and heating. Energy is vital to modern living. animal dung or crop waste) for their main energy requirements. light homes for evening study and to reduce the world’s greatest child killer. heats our homes. It lights our schools.
Often conventional grid and fuel distribution networks. The focus of the aid that has been provided has been large-scale infrastructure. such as refrigeration for health clinics and the pumping of water both for irrigation and domestic use. A quarter of all these deaths occur in Africa. where the majority of the poor live.fuel wood an average of five kilometres a day.6 million people die from lengthy exposure to excessive levels smoke in their homes from cooking fires. and often illegally placed. are hampered by inadequate attention at the national policy level to rural development generally and energy in particular. Getting power to these people will prove exorbitantly expensive through conventional grid extension schemes. slums with power or commercial fuels. do not reach the majority of rural areas. heating and lighting. Aid to energy is minimal and the emphasis is on boosting economic growth not poverty reduction … International development aid to energy in Africa has been minimal. The New Economic Partnership for Africa (NEPAD) and the Commission for Africa focus on the financing of large-scale power projects. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) only 4 per cent of total aid to Africa is spent on energy. Efforts at finding appropriate solutions to the energy problems in rural areas. the majority of the population will be bypassed without a significant effort to reach them. Energy has not been high on the agenda for European Union’s aid to Africa. or the export of energy resources. few utilities or fuel suppliers will supply informal. Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 4 . But a greater burden is on their health and the health of their children. Africa does need energy to stimulate growth but it also needs energy for poverty reduction … While Africa undoubtedly needs modern energy to stimulate economic growth. Poor people’s priority energy need is for cooking. There is almost no focus on delivery of energy services to the rural or urban poor. Aid and international finance is currently focused on large-scale supply of energy at national or regional level. In addition. Worldwide 1. Energy is also needed to improve the public services they rely on. The vast majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa live in rural areas and many of these people do not live villages but in scattered homesteads. especially those driven by commercial gain. accounting for less than 5 per cent of European aid since 1990. They also need energy to improve their incomes through small-scale industries and food processing.
the majority of rural people and many urban dwellers could remain ill served for many decades. It is essential that alongside the drive to upgrade and expand Africa’s energy supply there is an equally strong need for this supply to be inclusive of all African people. meeting huge imbalances between supply and demand. It is imperative that Europe seizes the chance to ensure that this facility sets poverty reduction and sustainability targets and that the modalities of the fund are pro-poor. Europe has the chance to help make a huge difference to Africa’s energy poverty. increased use of renewable energy and enhanced energy efficiency. will support rural electrification. the identification and mobilisation of resources to provide modern energy services. The fund. Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 5 . shifting energy consumption from biomass Availability – making African energy resources more available to African populations Sustainability – reducing dependency on unsustainable biomass. decentralised energy systems. • • The new European Commission aid fund for energy needs to be clearly poverty focussed if it is to meet the needs of the energy poor … Without attention to distribution of energy resources. Africa’s poor cannot afford to be ill served once more by another generous gesture that by passes their needs. to be managed by the EU Energy Initiative.Meeting these needs and reversing the downward trends in African economies and access to modern energy will depend on: • • Affordability – bringing the cost of energy within the reach of more people Accessibility – increasing capacity to address poverty in the region. Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to ‘sharpen the focus and visibility of the energy and poverty agenda’. One new opportunity for resourcing energy delivery is the proposed ACP-EU Energy Facility under the 9th European Development Fund (EDF). This would provide €250 million for African.
2 Access: the African energy crisis Energy and poverty in Africa The energy situation in Africa is characterised by lack of access to energy services. Yet Africa lags seriously in this regard. Equality of access to energy. High use of firewood and charcoal and to a certain degree agricultural waste is registered in all countries in sub-Sarahan Africa. Modern energy plays a critical role in social and economic transformation and conversely. A set of recommendations is put forward which can guide the EC and other major donors on the energy question to ensure that existing and any heightened aid efforts in the sector are poverty focussed The following Practical Action/ITDG team contributed to this paper: Alison Doig. Most of the commercial energy Africa produces is exported to other continents. The need to accelerate development in Africa is widely recognised and access to energy is vital to that task. water and shelter. clothing. Daniel Theuri. sometimes with minimal benefit to local populations. which leads to a self-perpetuating vicious circle of poverty. is increasingly being recognised as an important part of the solution to debilitating poverty and social decline. Kenya is used as a case study. Teo Sanchez and Cornelius Mzezewa. People everywhere are dependent upon energy. They are highly dependent on natural resources for survival and land resources are under extreme pressure to meet basic requirements of food. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to close to 640 million people most of whom live in rural areas sustaining livelihoods through subsistence farming. shelter and energy needs. poor health.1 Introduction This paper forms part of a project which is raising European public awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of the EC aid effort in east and southern Africa It outlines the how African populations are chronically underserved in terms of energy and how this contributes to the poverty crisis facing the continent. The technologies and appliances used often are of low efficiency hence high wastage in production and use of energy and other natural resources is experienced. like access to food. lack of access has continued to exert severe constraints on national development where the poor are often the greatest losers. Lasten Mika. as energy services facilitate livelihoods and development. There is a strong Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 6 . low productivity and food shortage. It looks at two recent proposals for African development: NEPAD and the Commission for Africa to review how the energy question is currently being treated. The current and potential role of the EC is then considered.
Many women in rural sub-Saharan Africa carry 20 kilograms of fuel wood an average of five kilometres a day. Invariably efforts aimed at finding the most appropriate solution to energy problems in rural areas. animal dung or crop waste) for their main energy requirement. but they do desire the services that it provides. 89 per cent. Statistics show a clear reversal of trends in the energy sector in parts of Africa. where the bulk of the population live. lighting. Per capita consumption of modern energy (electricity and fuels) is reducing. access to modern energy in sub-Saharan Africa is often limited. and the energy sources offered are seldom affordable to the bulk of the rural population. but consumption of biomass (wood. are hampered by inadequate attention. Between 1990 and 1997 average per capita consumption fell from 695 kilograms of oil equivalent (kgoe) to 410 kgoe. At the individual or community level people may not express their needs in terms of demand for energy. energy supply systems are inadequate and unreliable. Worldwide 1. reduced drudgery and time saved. heating. radio. More intensive energy inputs are required for increased productivity of human labour and for income-generation. at the national policy level. allow access to global markets.6 million people die from lengthy exposure to excessive levels smoke in their homes from cooking fires. Despite seemingly readily available energy. Poverty condemns the vast majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa. telephone. The energy consumption and production scenario in sub-Saharan Africa reflects the continent’s struggles and desires for a decent life and growth of her economies. transport. This places a huge burden on poor women and children. serious challenges remain and the future will to a great extent be determined by the way modern energy services will be provided to sub-Saharan Africa for an effective mix of goods and services to stem increasing poverty. Given the current global pursuit of economically and environmentally sustainable development paths. to rely on biomass (wood.correlation between electricity use and standard of living. impact on the national and global environment and affect national budget allocations.1 At the national level energy is seldom the most visible issue on the national development policy agenda. A quarter of all these deaths occur in Africa. In Kenya for example a livelihood analysis for a community found that women on general spend between 4½ and 6 hours daily fetching water and firewood. to rural development in general and to rural energy needs in particular. innovative opportunities for energy supply and use are essential in transforming lives for millions of people in the continent. cooking and heating2. While this continent is endowed with huge energy resources. pumped clean water. yet it can help facilitate stable economic development. such as cooked food.3 Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 7 . Rural Africa is home of the majority of the poor and critical decisions must be made on supply and delivery options that take into consideration the special circumstances. charcoal and agricultural residue) is increasing. But a greater burden is on their health and the health of their children. Per capita energy consumption in sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s lowest and has been in decline.
Investment in the petroleum industry represents 73% of all US direct investment in Africa.4 from Stephen Karekezi. Libya and Egypt account for 58.5% is spread between all the other countries. Libya and Algeria between them for a further 30%. is the only African country consuming uranium. Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 8 . Electricity use follows the same pattern of concentration in the extreme north and south.5% in Africa. Electricity production for many African countries is equivalent to that of a small town in Europe or the USA. Global Network for Sustainable Development (GNESD). with its nuclear power plant near Cape Town. with the US consuming over 25%. Africa accounts for only 2% of the world’s GDP and 3% of global commercial energy consumption The industrialised countries accounted for 58% of world consumption of petroleum in 2000. with the three African members of OPEC – Algeria. South Africa. South Africa accounts for nearly half (46%) of all the electricity consumed on the whole continent and Egypt. and per capita consumption is miniscule. AFREPREN. meaning that 88% of African gas is consumed in or exported from north of the Equator. Between them. 2002 Commercial energy in Africa 5 6 While being home to 13% of the world’s population and producing 7% of the world’s commercial energy. Nigeria represents a further 11% of gas consumption. Libya and Egypt account for 77% of continent-wide production.5% of Africa’s consumption. Options for Addressing the Nexus of Energy and Poverty in the Framework of NEPAD. Africa accounts for 10. Coal consumption presents a very different picture. Nigeria and Libya producing 66% of African oil. Use of gas is even more concentrated in north Africa than oil. North Africa dominates oil consumption. Algeria. Algeria. Most of Africa is extremely poorly served with electricity.There is a high level correlation between poverty and the amount and quality of energy consumed. compared to 3. South Africa accounts for 93% of African coal consumption.3% of worldwide production of crude oil. as little as 24 KWh per capita per annum in some countries. South Africa consumes a further 14% and the remaining 27.
it is essential that the extension of energy delivery is actually reaching the people who need it most. By 2030 there will be 650 million Africans living without electricity compared with 509 million today. but it is yet to be considered a priority. One quarter of these deaths are in Africa. and that it supplies the energy services required to bring these people out of poverty. and will require billions of dollars each year to resolve. are: Sustainable energy for cooking and heating … More than a third of humanity burn biomass (wood. Improving on the current high infant mortality.4 billion people in 2002. to cope with these challenges is very important for the overall net productivity of the region as whole. In the rural areas where the vast majority of Africans live 92 per cent of people have no electricity. a death toll greater than that caused by malaria.For the region to achieve the Millennium Development Goals of halving poverty. the smoke produced from these fuels is a major cause of respiratory infection. increase a family’s dependence on biomass fuels and exposure to smoke. due to their reliance on traditional biomass for cooking and heating. particularly for the poor who are very much deprived of these services. 583 million Africans were relying on biomass for cooking and heating. In 2000. Africa needs substantial increase in modern energy service provision. action has to take place at local level to extend desperately needed energy services to poor communities. especially in the energy and power sector. By 2030 the proportion of people in sub-Saharan Africa dependent on biomass will have dropped to approximately 80 per cent. On current trends. Some 23 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa population has access to electricity. and is linked to 1. Without additional effort. The urgent energy requirements for poor people needed to achieve poverty reduction and the Millennium Development Goals. especially affordable. which constitutes the fourth greatest risk factor for death and disease in the world’s poorest countries.6 billion people by 2015. and high illiteracy and fertility rates of the region [World Bank. to 2.5 billion by 2015. mostly in India and Africa. To achieve poverty reduction. low life expectancy. In most sub-Saharan Africa countries nearly 90 per cent of the population depend on traditional biomass fuels for cooking and heating. Burnt on open fires and rudimentary stoves. 2003] will require substantial electricity provision. by 2015 the number of people globally depending on biomass fuels will grow from 2. Many home-based enterprises. The absolute number of people in region without electricity is increasing. However. Developing policies. Simple. however this drop pales into insignificance compared with the 27 per cent increase of the absolute numbers of people relying on traditional biomass. reliable and adequate electricity. the number of people without electricity worldwide will remain at around 1. crop residues. charcoal and dung) for cooking and heating. such as beer brewing or street foods production. low-cost solutions to Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 9 . The scale of the problem is huge. balancing growth in electrification rates with population growth. by 2030 this figure will leap to 823 million. even with ambitious targets in mind.6 million deaths per year. Around 90% of the sub-Saharan Africa’s population is at risk.
Energy to modernise public services … Energy scarcity impinges on the provision of other basic services. Many enterprises in rural areas require mechanical energy to drive sawmills. the proportions of rural women affected by water scarcity are estimated to be 55% in Africa. Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 10 . Around 72 per cent of the population in African cities and towns live in slums. turning waste into energy (such as sawdust. For enterprises relying on heat. hence increasing long-term profitability. with the median time for collecting water in the dry season about 1. more efficient and better-ventilated biomass stoves or switching to cleaner fuels (including kerosene. biogas). or through electric. there is no doubt that the impact in terms of quality of life of poor people in remote areas is very significant.deadly indoor air pollution are available. agro-waste or charcoal dust). pumping drinking water or lighting for evening study. and fuel diversification. pump water or grind grain. diesel or biofuel motors. Whether it is refrigeration for vaccines. this figure is expected to rise to 50 per cent in the next 25 years. More emphasis is required on energy services for public services like remote health centres. efficient mechanical power can be achieved directly through water or wind turbines. Studies show that small and medim enterprise (SME) in sub-Saharan Africa still depends on biomass as a main fuel – 84% of home based SMEs in Zimbabwe used biomass as their main fuels7. On current trends. Many poor people living in cities depend on wood and charcoal for fuel. Sustainable energy for the urban poor … Africa is the fastest urbanising continent in the world – around twice as fast as Latin America and Asia. schools and water supply. health. compared to under 30 per cent in 1980. such as bakeries or brickyards. which contributes to both air pollution and deforestation. waste-to-energy and biogas need to be further developed for urban use to deliver sustainable long-term solutions. liquefied petroleum gas [LPG]. as well as improving the environmental impact of the enterprise. Options at the industrial level include more fuel-efficient kilns. However. Nearly 40 per cent – around 300 million Africans – now live in cities. up to half of the production costs are on fuel. Public services are central to achieving the Millennium Development Goals on health and education. and education. For example.6 hours per day. 32% in Asia. innovative technologies like solar water heaters. and 45% in Latin America. In the short to medium term. fossil fuels will continue to be the main alternative fuel for poor urban households. Greater fuel efficiency will reduce costs. Energy to power production … The livelihoods of many small producers relying on energy are under threat because of inefficient production methods and diminishing natural fuel resources. such as water. While much of this is still provided by manual labour. and modern energy will be an essential input to modernising and expanding service provision. lighting for maternity wards. including simple smoke hoods. with an annual urban growth rate of close to 5 per cent.
An important element of the rural energy crisis is rural women’s time. cooking. with women and children collecting and preparing wood fuel for household use. and small enterprises. Rural women (and their children) are the primary collectors of wood and residue fuels. Kenya shows a heavy dominance of biomass energy with close to 92% of households reporting its use.4 million tonnes per annum. political and social development. while men are involved in commercialised energy activities such as charcoal production. The national consumption of charcoal is 2. food processing. and the viability of these activities is affected by energy prices and availability. which account for 80% of all household energy use in many developing countries. so empowering women and improving their status are essential to realising the full potential of economic. Many income activities of women in the informal sector – often critical to family economic survival – are fuel intensive. Biomass trends (per capita energy consumption. Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 11 . with women working longer work days than men in providing human energy for survival activities such as fuel and water carrying. transport. Kenya case study Fifty-six per cent of Kenyans live on less than a dollar a day. This puts a huge strain on the country’s forests and is accelerating deforestation especially around Nairobi and Mombasa. This heavy dependency on biomass is associated with serious indoor air pollution.Improved energy access for women … 70% of the approximately 1. The gender implications are strong. Kenya is among 20 poorest countries in the world and energy poverty is an every day part of life for most Kenyan people. and 82% of the households in urban areas rely on charcoal to meet their energy needs. non-monetised work which is largely invisible in national energy accounts and labour force statistics. agriculture.3 billion people living on less than $1 a day are women. kg of oil equivalent) 400 300 200 100 0 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 general increase in biomass consumption Nearly 89% of rural households use fuel wood. with indoor pollution levels in Kenya among the highest figures in the region.
National access rate is below the average for developing countries. kg of oil equivalent) 100 75 general decline 50 25 0 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 The cost of importing of petroleum puts a great strain on the country’s balance of payments. its consumption is extremely low at 121 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per capita.7% of the country’s total annual import bill. During the period 1998/99 – 2002/03 petroleum imports averaged 2.Other resources of rural energy are crop residues – mainly stalks and left-overs – with about 21% of households reporting use. There is a very low per capita consumption of commercial energy at 89 kilogrammes of oil equivalent (kgoe) for the period 1998-2002. which is below the 1994 commercial energy average of 384 kgoe for low-income economies and a world average of 1. Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 12 .350 per connection. This demonstrates a very serious negative trend in commercial fuel use.8% and electricity at 3. Government supports rural electrification programme but it is very expensive at between the equivalent of £1. Five year modern energy consumption in Kenya (per capita energy consumption. transportation and food production. The consumption of the commercial fuels is lowest in rural areas with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) at 1.210 – £1. However. In 2002 it was estimated that 92% of the population was using kerosene for lighting and to lesser extent for cooking. Access to electricity is less than 15% of the total population with less than 4% in the rural areas.434 kgoe. Human energy drives most of the rural economy and provide services in water supply.5 million tonnes per annum accounting for 25.8% penetration.
centralised macro development.3 Treatment of energy in recent policy documents on Africa International development aid to energy in Africa has been minimal. people focused model. though the Commission also states that prestige projects should be avoided. The same is true of for private foreign investment. However aid and international finance remains focused on large-scale supply of energy at national or regional level. or the export of energy resources. the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air and the Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP). expansion of regional grid transmission and large gas expansion plans). The second is prioritises widened access to energy. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) only 4 per cent of total aid to Africa is spent on energy8. While Africa undoubtedly needs growth fuelled by modern power in its drive for growth. There is almost no focus on delivery of energy services to the rural or urban poor. is virtually ignored by the macro-economic focused NEPAD and Commission for Africa. There are two models for expansion of energy supply in Africa: The first is a with main focus on large scale. However it is the first model that is predominantly applied. Energy has not been high on the agenda for European Union’s aid to Africa. Since the run up to the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 there has been a greater emphasis on the importance of energy in sustainable development. The New Economic Partnership for Africa (NEPAD) and the Commission for Africa focus on the financing of large-scale power projects. the majority of the population could be left behind. with expectation that poor will benefit from wider economic expansion (such as large power generation. including the EU Energy Initiative. accounting for less than 5 per cent of European aid since 1990. According to the World Energy Council ‘sparse low-income populations do not support expenditure on long transmission lines that would carry minimal loads’. Both approaches are needed if Africa is to develop. promoting small scale decentralised approaches. Getting power to these people will prove exorbitantly expensive through conventional grid extension schemes. which potentially could absorb billions of Euros of development aid and favoured financing. The focus of the aid that has been provided has been large-scale infrastructure.10 Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 13 . The second. The vast majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa live in rural areas and many of these people do not live in villages but in scattered homesteads. Energy was one of the five priority issues discussed at the WSSD and several energy initiatives were launched. In the decade of the 1990s Africa received only 3 per cent of total investment into energy infrastructure compared with 42 per cent to Latin America and 33 per cent to East Asia9.
but largely unexploited. and not local access to energy. large power and fuel projects tend to use international expertise. housing. and often illegally placed. technologies and contractors. In addition. It was tasked with finalising its report by early 2005 and producing clear recommendations for the G8. It highlights macro energy issues. and a large portion of the funds will go directly to non-African companies. ICTs and irrigation). Five formal objectives were established to guide the Commission’s work. leaving very little to deliver access to energy services for poor people. given the importance of facilities being available to poor people. increasing to US $20 billion for the next 5 years. potentially absorbing all aid and investment funds.Often conventional grid and fuel distribution networks. The aims of the Commission for Africa on energy seem quite contradictory. EU and other wealthy countries as well as African countries. The work set out to be comprehensive and challenging. notably the Democratic Republic of Congo. there is an equally strong need for this supply of modern energy to be inclusive of all African people. few utilities or fuel suppliers will supply informal. do not reach the majority of rural areas. mega hydro. The funding will be predominantly grant based. especially those driven by commercial gain. However. Energy comes under infrastructure investment (alongside drinking water supply. addressing difficult questions where necessary. alongside the drive to upgrade and expand Africa’s energy supplies. ‘Mega-projects’ in the gas industry are planned in southern and west Africa. using aid money for infrastructure investment to the tune of US $10 billion per year to 2010. The aim of the Commission was to take a fresh look at Africa’s past and present and the international community’s role in its development path. it is essential that. For example hydro resources in some African countries. which means very little capacity building will take place within Africa. The Commission supports hydro. Therefore. roads. Without attention to distribution of energy resources.and gas-powered energy as they could also become important drivers of growth in Africa. Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 14 . slums with power or commercial fuels. are huge. Only Eskom in South Africa has the capacity to deliver such large power expansion. The Commission recommends that a specific fund should be created. gas and grid expansion puts all the eggs in one basket. Commission for Africa The Commission for Africa was launched by the British Prime Minister Tony Blair in February 2004. In addition. However. Country level donor officials should strive to empower local actors. the main energy aim of the Commission is to fund ‘larger power projects’. The Commission report itself states that it should ‘should avoid funding prestige projects that have so often turned into white elephants in the past’. then the majority of rural people and many urban dwellers could remain unserved for many decades to come. It recommends that African governments must reprioritise the importance of infrastructure in their poverty reduction strategies.
Investment is needed in African technology for African people. accessible and appropriate to the needs of the people.The emphasis in the Commission’s approach to clean energy for Africa is to hope that the developed world will develop new markets. including agriculture. which will eventually open to Africa. and so on). the report does take the emphasis off a purely privatised supply of services. There are some very positive opportunities for increased access and improved fuels for poor communities. access to water and urbanisation. communities and enterprises in a form that is affordable. Expansion of energy systems across Africa must reach to the heart of the poverty crisis in Africa. the Commission’s envisaged infrastructure fund could include the creation of 15 million electricity connections in a continent which sorely needs grid extension. households. The Commission for Africa report gives clear direction for economic and social growth in Africa. such as power. The challenge for NEPAD’s Energy Infrastructure Initiative is to develop fully the energy resources of the continent in order to deliver affordable energy services to the various economic and social sectors. solar thermal water heaters. but this could be lost if it only goes to large projects. access to reliable and affordable commercial energy by Africa’s population in 20 years 15 Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 . There is huge potential in the Commission’s plans for development. innovative private sector approaches to providing rural electrification. with ambitions including: • Increasing from 10 to 30% or more. In addition. small and medium enterprises. which can meet local needs now. NEPAD energy-related objectives are: • • • • • • • Increase access to reliable and affordable commercial energy Improve the reliability and lower the cost of energy supply Rationalise the territorial distribution of energy resources Reverse environmental degradation associated with biomass use Exploit and develop hydropower potential of river basins Integrate transmission grids and gas pipelines Reform and harmonise petroleum regulations and legislation. small scale wind power. with local manufacture of technologies used in other parts of the developing world (micro hydro. and not to the delivery of energy to people. but to use private sector where it can be most valuable – for example. and start to supply services where they are needed. All of these priorities require appropriate clean energy services delivered to individuals. there is some way to go. This misses the huge potential for indigenous technology development. New Partnership for African Development energy strategy 11 The Commission for Africa report has emphasised the need to support the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) energy strategy. On the positive side. biogas. The implementation of the Commission’s energy strategy must first start with the needs of the poor. With over half a billion Africans without electricity.
• • • Reversing environmental degradation associated with the use of traditional fuels in rural areas Establishment of a task team to accelerate the development of energy supply to low-income housing Broaden the scope of the programme for biomass energy conservation from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to the rest of Africa. In fact. This includes:13 studies for: • • Grand Inga hydro-power project Subregional power interconnection projects investment projects with: • • • West African gas pipeline Kenya-Uganda oil pipeline Mepande Uncua hydro-power project Progress is already being made on the development of the Grand Inga hydro-power project. are the massive energy projects which absorb huge sums of money. the delivery of modern energy to disperse rural people is viewed as a very high cost and risky venture by private sector investors. To develop the full potential of Inga’s 40 gigawatts. the major investment plans under NEPAD. with the establishment of a development company for the hydro plant. It has to be national governments and donor countries who take the lead. Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 16 . None of this investment includes the cost of delivering power to the majority of southern Africa’s people. it has been demonstrated that market-oriented reforms in the energy sector have had either a neutral or adverse impact on the poor. into one high risk and highly contentious project. the building of Inga-3 and transmission lines to southern Africa. would cost £50 billion14. with such huge funds being directed towards generation and transmission of power and transportation of fuels. which was supported in the Commission for Africa report. In particular.12 However. This project alone would absorb several billion dollars of investment and development funds. There is no doubt that Southern Africa is in desperate need of increased power generation. it is difficult to see where funds of a similar nature (donor based or commercial) will be available for delivering electricity and modern fuel to the majority of Africa’s people. with the prediction that by 2007 the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) will not be able to supply all the power demand of the region. More than US $4 billion is earmarked for the first phase of the work. However.15 Therefore the drive to take forward objectives aimed directly at the poor are unlikely to be motivated by the large private companies. and being pushed by energy giants such as ESKOM and major oil companies.
following several years of considerable controversy. involves oil production in the south of Chad. Where energy is addressed at a national level. not for increasing access to energy by the majority of the population. and a number of scattered renewable energy initiatives across the continent. The pipeline came on-stream in October 2003.19 Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 17 . DFID was a strong advocate of the project.km pipeline through Cameroon. it is the biggest donor after the World Bank. Some smaller levels of funding does go to decentralised programmes. and an export terminal on Cameroon’s coast. In 2000. Within the World Bank. and energy development is only funded if it supports development in the other sectors.7 billion project. the World Bank approved a loan package worth nearly $300 million to the Chad-Cameroon oil project. European Commission development assistance to Kenya accounts for 15% of the Government budget. The $3. The Kenyan Country Strategy Paper does not include the energy sector.17 A number of EU member states do provide development assistance to individual African countries to assist the energy sector. one of the world’s poorest countries. which rarely benefit poor rural or urban communities. Denmark and Norway. energy has not been high on the agenda for European Union aid to Africa.16 No African country has directly addressed energy under the 9th European Development Fund (EDF). with a very low priority to energy. major funding still tends to go to large utility power projects or multinational fuel programmes. the European Investment Bank followed suit and approved a loan of $120 million. the largest oil investment in Africa. such as the German support for GTZ-ProBEC programme for improved biomass cook stove in Southern Africa.4 European funding for energy in Africa: quantity and quality Despite the massive energy poverty across the continent. However. together with a 1. In June 2000. For example. DFID supported the World Bank loan to the ExxonMobil-led Chad-Cameroon oilfield and pipeline project. However. led by US oil major Exxon.18 There has been significant energy sector development funding to Mozambique from Sweden. the focus is almost always on support for national electricity utilities. further development of hydro power in Mozambique is mainly targeted for export to the SAPP or for expansion of large industry. Bilateral aid from Europe gives a similar picture. Energy projects account for less than 5% of European aid since 1990. and have been largely focused on large-scale infrastructure. rural development and transport. The focal sectors are agriculture.000. A month later. and only five ACP (Africa Caribbean and Pacific) countries have included energy as a focal sector of cooperation in their countries. They would like to see private sector players come in. According to the EC delegation to Kenya. The impact of this development on the majority of people in these countries is very marginal. the EC would like to fund the energy sector but at the moment they cannot release funds because the Kenyan utility does not have the capacity to provide electricity countrywide.
technical institutes. including solar.20 GVEP approach 21 An alternative approach to poverty-focused energy planning is emerging through the Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP). tidal. GVEP is working with a range of stakeholders in a number of developing countries to integrate energy planning with their poverty reduction strategies. etc). The large-dam subsidy is part of a package of proposals to give better treatment to renewable energy projects. GVEP Cameroon has prepared the first draft of the country’s National Energy Action Plan for the Fight Against Poverty (NEAP). In parallel. such as education. close to 1. In its present form the NEAP proposes to provide electricity for more than 1. Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 18 . wave and small hydro projects provided to developing countries.200 educational establishments (primary schools. including policy changes. teacher training colleges.000 integrated health centres and around 200 rural water supply projects at a total cost of €45 million. it lays out concrete actions to address the issues. access to water or income generation. Progress is already being made in two sub-Saharan African countries. They outline activities to increase energy access in the country.Construction of large dams in developing countries will be subsidised under recent European commission proposals. This approach is in its early stages. Participating countries develop action plans with linkages between energy development and poverty reduction goals. The proposal was presented on 18 April 2005 at a meeting in Paris of the export credit agencies of the world’s 29 richest countries. wind. aims and responsibilities for achieving goals. health. and details a schedule. GVEP engages potential donors who can support the implementation of the action plan. and will require significant support from European donor countries to achieve its goals. This plan identifies needs and barriers to energy access. Cameroon and Senegal. GVEP is a 10 year partnership which seeks to increase access to modern energy services in order to enhance economic and social development and reduce poverty.
the majority of oil production is from only a few (eg. Sustainability – emerging from World Summit for Sustainable Development and the ongoing Commission for Sustainable Development discussions. For example. The underlying success in surmounting these challenges will depend on a four critical factors. These inequities lead to divergent policies. the majority of natural gas is produced in western Africa from a few countries (eg. Accessibility to modern forms of energy – improving access to energy and energy services both at household level and at national level is the greatest challenge facing sub-Sahara Africa today. and resources to progressively shift energy use from biomass. meeting the current huge supply demand imbalances. and while almost every country has significant potential for solar energy. The challenge includes: lack of requisite capacity to address the poverty in the region. but wind power has the most potential in many coastal areas. Nigeria. Central Africa has the greatest biomass potential which declines outwards towards the sahel and tropics and the south. eastern Africa and the Congo basin has tremendous hydro potential. Similarly. SubSaharan Africa cannot be said to lack in energy resources and a glance at energy resource base reveals: Although many countries have at least some oil reserves. sustainability will increasingly become a central feature of resource utilisation in future. This shift includes creating infrastructure to expand use of electricity to the majority of people. programs and interests among the countries and only limited success can be quoted on regional development of energy resources that is impacting on the poor. Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville). currently at less than 15% regionally. Huge untapped geothermal resource associated with Great Rift Valley in eastern Africa is yet to be exploited. Special attention will need to focus on rural areas as they have been traditionally neglected and today are some of the poorest living conditions. this potential varies area to area. Affordability – improving affordability by more people in a continent which is the only one registering negative growth forecast for the next decade and in a world becoming increasingly competitive. Even renewable energy. Cameroon and Congo-Brazzaville). Nigeria. There is a growing recognition of the importance of an integrated approach to resource Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 19 . is unevenly distributed. Availability – from the onset availability and accessibility are the vanguards of security of supply where market forces conditions the parameters of that security. Angola. The cost of energy has significant impacts on economic activities particularly those that are energy intensive and at household level.5 Reforming energy delivery in Africa The challenges facing the region today is to reverse the downward trend and put the domestic economies on a recovery path at a reasonable pace to redress rising poverty. identification and mobilisation of resources to provide modern energy services to provide basic services and developmental needs. with its great potential in Africa. The other fossil fuel coal is primarily found in southern Africa.
to ‘sharpen the focus and visibility of the energy and poverty agenda’. The linkages among energy. special consideration should be given to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). out of which sustainable yield met only 15 million tonnes. The dependency on unsustainably produced biomass is depleting the natural resource base. will provide €250 million for ACP (Africa. when agreed. availability. and cost. This fund. This situation of mining of the resource base is consequently affecting land productivity through reduced soil fertility and erosion threatening livelihoods. Land in sub-Saharan Africa is the last bastion for the poor as it is the only natural resource currently widely but not equitably shared. it is a very significant fund for local delivery of energy services. which is managed by the EU Energy Initiative. In Kenya. Since cooking and lighting constitute the biggest demand for energy. agriculture and their combined relationship with poverty requires sustainability being addressed fully and urgently. Further degradation of the already sensitive and fragile tropical soils will trigger irreversible ecological consequences and dash the hope of millions to move out of poverty. The fund. this huge amount of energy is obtained and processed mainly by women and children. Sustainability will call for a mixture of interventions both at macro level and household level to reverse the trend and give fresh hope to many. leaving 19 million tonnes to be sourced from other agricultural waste and leftovers and other unsuitable vegetation. against which funded projects will be monitored. ACP-EU Energy Facility – Europe’s chance to help light up Africa 22 One opportunity for resourcing energy delivery to African people is the current proposal for an ACP-EU Energy Facility. It is essential to ensure modalities for the energy facility are pro-poor. The long term goal of the fund is to achieve a significant increase in the use of sustainable energy services for productive and social purposes for the target populations in ACP countries. convenience. The fund will include rural electrification. Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 20 . is to be allocated from the ‘conditional billion’ of the 9th European Development Fund. While it is not of the scale of funding being proposed for the huge energy sector projects under NEPAD. thus creating drudgery and exposing them to poor indoor air with serious health consequences. It is important that the EU Energy Facility sets pro-poor indicators. including cleaner and more efficient use of fossil fuels and more effective use of traditional biomass. and should be aimed at achieving WSSD and MDG targets. minimal environmental impact. decentralised energy systems. increased use of renewable energy. the leading candidate to replace traditional fuels for cooking and other thermal energy needs in a significant percentage of rural dwellings because of its technical characteristics. Care must be taken that this facility does set poverty reduction and sustainability targets which mean the needs of the poor are met now and long into the future. Furthermore.development and use with special case for rural Africa which is highly dependent on wood fuel and generally biomass. Caribbean and Pacific) countries. biomass meets 68% of the energy needs translated to a demand of 34 million tonnes of biomass. and enhanced energy efficiency. environment.
6 Recommendations Africa needs huge investment in its energy sector. In order to ensure that this fund reaches the poor. for building energy and energy technology markets in developing countries. Integrate energy advances with other aspects of rural development. by enlarging energy choices for basic needs. not just the nation. While. The ACP-EU Energy Facility should open new opportunities for delivering power at a local level. sustainable energy is a prerequisite to meeting the development targets of the Commission for Africa and to meet the Millennium Development Goals. including capacity to manufacture small-scale equipment and design. Access to modern. Funding should: Stimulate the development of the market to cope with the urban energy sector. This should extend to support financial services and regulations. there is a need to invest in large-scale infrastructure across the continent. Engage the poor as active partners in delivering change through the involvement of civil society in the process of decision making on how and where aid money for infrastructure is spent and explicit consideration of the contribution of energy services to poverty reduction in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers. procure. the majority of them in rural areas. The GVEP approach to energy planning with poverty reduction targets offers a new model for addressing energy poverty head on. such as cooking and lighting. Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 21 . EC and EU bilateral funds should be used to build local capacity to market. Policy initiatives for EU countries should target energy poverty of the people. it is essential that modern energy is delivered to the millions of African people living in poverty. there needs to be a significant annual budget for regional rural electrification. at least 50 per cent investment in decentralised energy systems needs to be allocated. install and manage decentralised energy schemes. Address the harmful effects of indoor air pollution. Poverty reduction instruments will have to incorporate local planning and capacity development. sell. As part of the EU-ACP partnership. undoubtedly. and maintain decentralised energy technologies. Development aid funding going to the energy sector in Africa must have explicit poverty focused objectives. with clear indicators of poverty reduction. Reduce overall dependency on biomass through improved access to improved biomass technologies and improved access in rural areas to commercial liquid and gaseous fuels. Promote sustainable forestry as a fuel source to the poorest and most isolated sectors of the rural population. in order to meet the basic energy requirements of the people. install. finance. From the $10 billion investment fund recommended by the Commission for Africa. Energy programmes should target productive uses integrating them to livelihoods programmes like agriculture and SMEs. African governments can adopt a national policy or strategy for rural energy modernisation and a strategic plan for achieving energy sustainability.
• • When major energy developments are considered. Technologies must be developed to suit local needs.• Develop financing mechanisms to facilitate access to modern energy services by the poor. such as large generation projects (such as large hydro power) and international grid expansion. Locally available solutions are often the most effective. including investment to leverage private sector partnerships to target the poor. Wider financial support. including appropriate delivery mechanisms that will target both vertical and horizontal scaling up of modern forms of energy. Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 22 . and need not be the hightech solutions marketed in the North. then investment and planning must include distribution networks for extension to rural communities.
Sudan. East Africa. and works directly in four regions of the developing world – Latin America.org Practical Action is the working name of Intermediate Technology Development Group Ltd. Practical Action is a charity registered in the United Kingdom.About Practical Action Practical Action (formerly ITDG) is an international development organisation that uses innovative thinking and simple ideas to help people change their life for the better. GCB Registered Charity No 247257 Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 23 . Southern Africa and South Asia. Patron HRH The Prince of Wales. with particular concentration on Peru. KT. Zimbabwe. multiplying benefits and influencing others to bring about real and sustained change.uk W +44 (0) 1926 634401 www. Bangladesh and Nepal. Practical Action The Schumacher Centre for Technology and Development Bourton-on-Dunsmore Rugby Warwickshire CV23 9QZ. We understand the places where we work and the people we work with.practicalaction. UK T E +44 (0) 1926 634400 F practicalaction@practicalaction. Kenya.org. and we work together with communities sharing knowledge. Sri Lanka. KG.
2002 Karakezi. 25 Feb 2005 15 GNESD. www. Stephen. O. AFREPREN. 13 A summary of NEPAD Action Plans. Energy services for urban poor in Africa: Issues and policy implications. November 2004. Stephen. Final Report for WWF. London April 18.nepad.gvep. at the STS Forum in Kyoto. Member of the European Parliament. Focus on aid to Economic infrastructure and services and production commitments 2001-2002 average. et al.R. March 2005 18 Pumping Poverty.richardknight. 1998 International Energy Agency. World Health Report. 17 Study on the European Union Aid Agenda in Kenya and East Africa. Karakezi and A. 2005 21 www. Global Network for Sustainable Development 16 Intervention by Anders Wijkman. The Potential for Regionally Integrated Energy Development in Africa 11 www. Tungu-Kabri Microhydro Scheme Sustainable Livelihood Analysis. Options for Addressing the Nexus of Energy and Poverty in the Framework of NEPAD. Paul Brown. The Potential for Regionally Integrated Energy Development in Africa 10 World Energy Council. World Energy Outlook 2002 World Health Organisation. Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament. OECD. Nancy Olomo for ITDG. Energy Access Working Group Synthesis/Compliation Report. Richard. Zed Books. Guardian Newspaper . Expanding Petroleum Production in Africa. Global Network for Sustainable Development (GNESD). March 2005 19 Intermediate Technology Consultants Ltd. Energy and Poverty. environment correspondent.References 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ITDG. Britain’s Department for International Development and the oil industry Researched and written by PLATFORM Research for Friends of the Earth. The Potential for Regionally Integrated Energy Development in Africa: a Discussion Document WEC WORK PROGRAMME 2002-2004.org 12 Karakezi. The Mphanda Nkuwa Dam project: Is it the best option for Mozambique’s energy needs? June 2004 20 Rich countries to ignore green protests and back big dams. Global Network for Sustainable Development (GNESD). NEPAD 2005 www. 2004. 2002. Brussels. 2004 COM (2004) 711 final Europe’s chance to help light up Africa: energising poverty reduction Practical Action 2005 24 . AFREPREN.com. Options for Addressing the Nexus of Energy and Poverty in the Framework of NEPAD. 2004. ed S. Sihag. Guardian. World Energy Council. 2002 Kalumiana.org 14 $50-billion plan to tame the Congo River.org 22 Communication on the future development of the EU Energy Initiative and the modalities for the establishment of an Energy Facility for ACP countries.nepad. AFREPREN. 2002. World Energy Council 2003 Knight. Plan B.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.