Africa

WATCH: COVID-19 made electricity unaffordable for 25 million in Africa

Millions struggled to pay for their lighting, fans, televisions and mobile phones as the COVID-19 crisis hit jobs and incomes in 2020

 
By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 09 June 2021

More than 25 million people in Africa and Asia were unable to afford electricity because their earnings were hit by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) stated this in its latest annual global report tracking progress on sustainable energy. Millions struggled to pay for their lighting, fans, televisions and mobile phones as the COVID-19 crisis hit jobs and incomes in 2020.

This may hamper the global goal to provide power to everyone by 2030, the agency warned. More than a billion people gained access to electricity in the last decade making 90 per cent of the world’s population connected in 2019.

Around 660 million people will remain without electricity access in 2030 due to COVID-19. Around 759 million people still live without electricity, with about half of them living in fragile and conflict-affected regions.

This may worsen the disparities as electrification of health resources is vital for vaccination and pandemic response in developing countries. Two-thirds of those affected were in sub-Saharan Africa, increasing inequality in the region's access to electricity.

The number of people without power in Africa marked an increase in 2020 after falling for the last six years. Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia had the biggest electricity access deficits.

Under current and planned policies, an estimated 660 million people would still lack access to power in 2030, said the report released by the International Energy Agency, International Renewable Energy Agency, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, World Bank and World Health Organization. 

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