According to the latest report by the World Bank, Ghana has ranked first in the access to electricity rate in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report, Africa's Pulse, released in April 2023, assessed the electricity access rate between 2015 and 2021, scoring Ghana 81.2%.
Cote D'Ivoire, Kenya, Senegal, and Nigeria followed Ghana, with scores of 77.0%, 76.0%, and 73.5% respectively. Nigeria, Rwanda, and The Gambia placed fifth, sixth, and seventh, with scores of 69.1%, 65.0%, and 61.0% respectively.
The report also stated that Ghana, Rwanda, and Kenya are on track to achieving full energy access by 2030. The World Bank emphasized that access to energy is one of the most significant development challenges facing Sub-Saharan Africa.
The report noted that in 2022, 600 million people in Africa, which represented 43% of the continent, lacked access to electricity, with the vast majority of them—590 million or 98%—in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although progress has been made in closing energy access gaps, millions of people still lack modern energy services.
“Africa's rapidly growing population has translated to energy demand increases, outstripping supply. At present, Africa has 18% of the world's population but less than 6% of global energy consumption,” the report stated.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reversed gains made in the preceding five years. In 2021, the number of people without access to electricity increased by 4% compared to 2019.
However, the pandemic had the largest effect on the installation of new stand-alone off-grid systems, with the majority of new connections since 2020 being grid connections.
“In Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, and Côte d'Ivoire, the numbers were stable or reduced,” the report said.
The report concludes that the region must double its investments in energy by 2030 to achieve universal access to electricity. The World Bank recommended that African countries develop their power systems, increase their investment in renewable energy, and implement effective energy policies.