Did you know that approximately 600 million people (almost double the size of the US) are without access to electricity?
This is the magnitude of Africa’s underlying problem.
Africa to Date
The continent has come leaps and bounds over the last decade or so, creating good economic growth, with some nations proving to be a more resilient outfit in contrast to developed economies following the recent global economic recession. This key change was hugely reflected in Foreign Investment Direct (FDI) inflow to the continent, where it experienced a fairly stable influx whilst developed nations faced declining FDI following the crisis.
With such investment, provided injection into Africa, and opportunities to exercise projects that ultimately played an important role in changing fortunes. Nigeria, the largest recipient of FDI in Africa, has been one of the largest benefactors from the swings in the global economic structure.
Africa has been identified as home to one of the fastest growing millionaires, ranging from sectors such as telecommunications, manufacturing and technology.
It has become somewhat of a phenomenon in its own right given that wealth has historically been attributed to individuals with strong political / military ties. Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa provides testimony that the African Market remains to be hugely prosperous if the right opportunity presents itself.
South Africa, a country with the largest power capacity in sub-Sahara Africa is by far the most advanced in the region. Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, has a power capacity of 6GW, which stands at approximately 7 times less than South Africa’s capacity, but faced with a population that is 3 times more. It is by far lagging behind other emerging economies such as the BRICS as well as the likes of Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey whom are currently more advanced in the race for increased power capacity.
Nigeria is facing a supply problem. If you are familiar with Nigeria, then you would most likely come across the term N.E.P.A, National Electric Power Authority, now known as the Power holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) as well as the phrase ‘Nepa has taken light!’; underlining the frustration and the inadequacies to supply power to consumers without any interruptions.
The repercussions of such incapability’s have a negative impact on the cost of living and the cost of manufacturing, ultimately damaging the competitiveness of exports.
There is however room for optimism, with the World Bank pledging to give $1.7bn to Nigeria in an attempt to contribute to the growing power sector.
Power to the People
Africa as a continent has some way to go if it is to compete with Asia and South America. It will be a signal of intent if further projects of power expansions are brought forward to help develop industries, sustain growth, and the lives of people. It is clear however that whilst some nations are making bold moves to improve power capacity, other nations have yet to place it as top priority.
The only way to predict the future is to have the power to shape the future,
And as for Dangote, one can only imagine what he could be worth once power initiatives fully materialize.