Africa Progress Report 2015: power, people, planet - seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities

Renewable energy is at the forefront of the changes sweeping Africa, and a “triple win” is within the region’s grasp to increase agricultural productivity, improve resilience to climate change, and contribute to long-term reductions in dangerous carbon emissions. This is the message of a new report by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Africa Progress Panel, titled Power, People, Planet: Seizing Africa’s Energy and Climate Opportunities. The report calls for a ten-fold increase in power generation to provide all Africans with access to electricity by 2030, saying that this would reduce poverty and inequality, boost growth and provide the climate leadership that is sorely missing at the international level. It also urges African governments, investors, and international financial institutions to scale up investment in energy significantly in order to unlock Africa’s potential as a global low-carbon superpower. The report notes that, excluding South Africa, which generates half the region’s electricity, sub-Saharan Africa uses less electricity than Spain. It would take the average Tanzanian eight years to use as much electricity as an average American consumes in a single month. And over the course of one year someone boiling a kettle twice a day in the United Kingdom uses five times more electricity than an Ethiopian consumes over the same year.