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Electricity: French-African cooperation would be mutually beneficial

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Friday, 12 October 2018

Electricity: French-African cooperation would be mutually beneficial

For engineer Henri Prévot and Central African Republic deputy Jean-Pierre Mara, writing a joint op-ed in Le Monde, France’s efforts to promote solar energy have more chance of success in Africa than at home. Contrary to popular belief, sub-Saharan Africa is electrifying fast. According to statistics from the International Energy Agency, in eleven countries representing 70% of the population, electricity consumption has risen in the ten years between 2005 and 2015, from 122kWh to 171kWh per inhabitant, per year (by comparison, it stands at 7,000kWh per inhabitant, per year in France). However, average values do not reflect the real situation. In these countries, while large cities are connected to an (often unreliable) electricity grid, more than 600 million people living in less urban areas are not connected, and this number is increasing. For example, in the Central African Republic (CAR), a country of almost 5 million inhabitants, electricity supply depends almost exclusively on the Boali hydroelectric plant. Its capacity is 20MW, but nearly a quarter of that is lost is lost before reaching the city of Bangui, due to the obsolescence of the transmission network, and the city’s 800,000 inhabitants take turns, district by district, to go without electricity for a full day - and Bangui is the only city in the country with an electricity grid.

Source: lemonde.fr