Linking Electricity Access and Development Outcomes in Africa: A Framework for Action

The World Resources Institute (WRI) has released a new report calling for better integration of electricity access and development outcomes in Africa.  Authored by WRI Senior Associate, Dr. Lily Odarno, the report focuses on how African governments, the donor community, private sector and civil society can work together to better link  electricity access with priorities in agriculture, health and other sectors. Dr. Odarno revisits a persistent challenge that has hampered development efforts in Africa: the tendency of African governments and the larger international development community to pursue “…electricity access and development sector goals in isolation from one another, missing important opportunities for exploiting the synergies among them.” Drawing on intelligence gathered from WRI’s impressive and growing network of development partners at local, national and continental levels, the report offers concrete recommendations for strengthening links between energy and development agenda in the context of a supportive ecosystem. It identifies the main requirements for achieving this result:  (1) a much higher level of global ambition and intensity of stakeholder engagement; (2) substantial improvement in the amount and quality of knowledge about local conditions and needs; 3) better alignment of national policy and institutional strengthening efforts; and (4) the restructuring of development finance.