Seen from Space, Africa at night is un-lit. It is as dark as an almost-empty Siberia –however with over 1 billion people, Africa accounts for over a sixth of the worlds’ population – but generates only 4% of global electricity.

Africa’s energy generation capacity is woefully inadequate. The installed generation capacity of the whole of sub-Saharan Africa is 68GW -- less than Spain's -- and as much as one quarter of that 68 GW capacity is unavailable because of aging power plants and poor maintenance. Also the small scale of most national power systems and the widespread reliance on expensive oil-based power generation have kept power costs extremely high in Africa.

Per capita electricity consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) averages only 124 kilowatt-hours a year, barely 1% of the consumption typical in high-income countries – or roughly enough electricity for every other African to have one single light bulb burning for six hours per day. Only about one-fifth of the sub-Saharan population has access to any electricity at all. At current trends, less than 40% of African countries will reach universal access to electricity by 2050.

To change this trend, and to bring light and power to Africa, there must be the political will to build, manage and maintain a sustainable energy infrastructure in Africa. This is exactly where The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) adds value. Through our convening power, the ICA has been able to secure major commitments to transformational power projects throughout Africa.

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