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10 African countries with the largest population lacking electricity

Access to electricity remains a pressing issue in several African nations, posing significant challenges to their development. Across the continent, a substantial portion of the population grapples with the absence of reliable electricity.

10 African countries with the largest population lacking electricity
  • Business Insider Africa presents 10 African countries with the largest population lacking electricity.
  • This list is courtesy of Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report.
  • Over 600 million Africans lack access to energy
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Millions of individuals are living in persistent darkness, lacking access to a basic necessity crucial for daily life. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), more than 600 million Africans lack access to energy, resulting in an electricity access rate of over 43 per cent for African countries, the lowest globally.

The absence of electricity restricts households from engaging in essential activities, such as proper lighting for homes and streets. The impact extends beyond domestic settings, affecting every sector of the economy, including businesses, education, and healthcare.

The lack of electricity accessibility in many regions can be attributed to various factors, including the high cost of electricity and infrastructure deficit. While on a global scale, Africa boasts relatively low electricity costs, there still exist regions whose prices are relatively high compared to household incomes. In an earlier report, Business Insider Africa explored African countries with the highest cost of electricity in 2023 and how it can stifle the growth of economies.

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Another factor is the prolonged failure of African leaders to sufficiently invest in their nations' electricity sectors, thereby falling short in the crucial task of building the necessary capacity.

An energy progress report disclosed the African countries with the largest populations lacking access to electricity. The report is a collaborative initiative by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the World Bank and other partners.

Rank Country Population without access to electricity
1 Nigeria 86 million
2 Democratic Republic of the Congo 76 million
3 Ethiopia 55 million
4 United Republic of Tanzania 36 million
5 Uganda 25 million
6 Mozambique 22 million
7 Niger 21 million
8 Madagascar 19 million
9 Burkina Faso 18 million
10 Angola 18 million
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