PRESENTATION DATE: Thursday: March 14, 2013

TOPIC: Energy Access and Security Challenges and Implications to Economic Transformation in Eastern Africa

Abstract: Globally, almost a third of the world population has no access to modern energy services. In Sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 32 percent, and in Eastern Africa an estimated 26 percent of the population have access to electricity, with less than 15 percent access rate in rural areas. The Eastern Africa sub-Region, therefore, faces serious energy access challenges with comparatively lower levels of general access. Compounding the challenge, traditional biomass provides up to 85 percent of primary energy supply, and accounts for 80 percent of energy consumption.

Dependence on imported fuels for transportation and fuel-dependent economic activities, as well as for electricity generation in thermal power-dependent states have impacted energy security. This is partly due to the rapid rise in global energy commodity prices, with implications to countries’ macroeconomic performance.

Eastern African countries have registered impressive economic growth rates in the last decade, and most aim to achieve Middle Income status in the coming decade or so. Energy access and security challenges remain to be major structural constraints to sustaining growth and achieving long-term economic goals.

This presentation will assess the energy access and security situation in Eastern Africa, and its implications to the socioeconomic transformation in the region.