Top 10 African Countries with the Largest Population Lacking Electricity Access


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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.

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.

RankCountryPopulation without access to electricity
1Nigeria86 million
2Democratic Republic of the Congo76 million
3Ethiopia55 million
4United Republic of Tanzania36 million
5Uganda25 million
6Mozambique22 million
7Niger21 million
8Madagascar19 million
9Burkina Faso18 million
10Angola18 million

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