Africa is home to 54 vibrant countries, over 1.2 billion people, and unfortunately, nearly 600 million people without power.

Africa is facing an energy crisis. Energy poverty and unstable electricity, exacerbated by governments and economic glass ceilings has seen Africa pushed into a hard rock and a hard place situation.

With the world watching and environmental activists touting Africa as the next green utopia that will skip the fossil fuel problems, mistakes the rest of the world has made – we are presented with a call to action. Which one? Who knows?

Electricity is the backbone of society. It’s used everywhere and plays multiple roles in people’s lives. It provides safety, further education, and improves quality of life, to name a few. Currently our infrastructure does not meet demand, which is where we are presented with an advantageous opportunity: renewable energy.

Renewable energy has steadily taken over the world and Africa may soon be next, and could even potentially become the leading force. With infrastructure not as well established as other countries, we find ourselves at a crossroads, fossil fuels, or renewable energy. I firmly believe that renewable energy is the way forward, but before we get into it – what exactly is the dilemma Africa is facing?

The Dilemma

Africa is growing exponentially. By the end of the century, the population is expected to quadruple. With 600 million people at present in Africa without access to electricity, one could only imagine how much that would increase by the end of the century. Going off the population prediction, by 2100, we could well enter the territory of over a billion people without access to electricity.

In addition, by 2050, demand for electricity will quadruple between 2010-2040. With current demand already overwhelming the precarious power grid, without acting soon we will find ourselves in a crisis.

Which leads me to believe that the two big issues exacerbating energy poverty in Africa are inadequate infrastructure and overwhelming electricity demand.

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