A World Bank analysis of power utility performance in 39 Sub-Saharan African countries shows that structural inefficiencies and poor tariff-subsidy distribution keep utilities from being financially viable, and acknowledges the importance of decentralized technologies for meeting rural electrification goals.

Source: World Bank study “Making Power Affordable for Africa and Viable for its Utilities,” which analyzed data from 39 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to understand financial viability of power utilities. Additional notes:

  • For each country, data on utility capital and operations expenditure, cash payment collected and quasi-fiscal deficit under performance in reference year are provided. We replicate that data here in interactive form.
  • While connecting to the grid is a solution for many Africans, the World Bank study acknowledges that mini- and off-grid electricity, especially from sources like solar, is essential to electrify homes in many rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The database is a publication of the African Renewable Energy Access Program (AFREA), a World Bank Trust Fund Grant Program funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands through ESMAP.
  • Citation: Trimble, Chris; Kojima, Masami; Perez Arroyo, Ines; Mohammadzadeh, Farah. 2016. Financial Viability of Electricity Sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa: Quasi-Fiscal Deficits and Hidden Costs. Policy Research Working Paper; No. 7788