Chapter 17Who’s got the Power? The Electrification of Africa

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Hanaan Marwah


About 30% of people in sub-Saharan Africa have access to grid electricity, the lowest of any major region in the world. Per head, Africans consume only one fifth the energy of the global average. This complicates the development of even small scale industry, progress beyond basic levels of health care and education; it empowers citizens and improves living standards. This chapter will help students to understand historically why this is and how these challenges can be overcome.


Marwah, Hanaan (2014). “Who’s got the Power? The Electrification of Africa”, In Ewout Frankema, Ellen Hillbom, Ushehwedu Kufakurinani and Felix Meier zu Selhausen (eds.), The History of African Development: An Online Textbook for a New Generation of African Students and Teachers. African Economic History Network.

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