"More than a century after the light bulb was invented most of the African continent is still in the dark after nightfall. School children often cannot read after dusk, businesses cannot grow, and clinics cannot refrigerate medicine or vaccines, and industries are idled hampering economic growth, jobs, and livelihoods.
Today some 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa are facing a crisis evidenced by rolling blackouts. Although the African continent is well endowed both with fossil fuels and renewable resources, these are not evenly distributed, creating windfall profits for some countries and exacerbating the crisis in others." From World Bank Fact Sheet.
Africa is the least developed continent, and only 24% of the people in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to basic electrical power. Yet the untapped potential of renewables energies is one of the highest of any continent.
Now, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has launched collaboration between 19 East African states to develop the Africa Clean Energy Corridor. The goal is to leap frog the fossil fuel path and utilize renewable energies to meet the growing demand.
Those fortunate enough to have power still experience poor reliability and high costs ($0.13/kwh) compared to western standards ($0.04-$0.08/kwh).
We are privileged by birth. Those born in Africa were not so lucky. The United Nations IRENA is a powerful new force to assist these nations in their transition from the Dark Continent to the light. Cooperation among 19 nations will accelerate their mutual goals and benefits. They deserve all of our support.
In Partnership for the Planet,