Living Under the Grid: 110 Million of Africa’s Unconnected Customers Represent a Massive Opportunity

By [email protected] Almost half of the people living in sub-Saharan Africa have access to electricity. Urban electricity access rates are even higher, estimated at 76 percent in 2014. But these figures are dangerously deceptive.

A recent World Bank study on infrastructure in Africa finds that take-up rates for populations living under the grid are high in only a few countries — South Africa, Nigeria, Gabon and Cameroon — while being below 50 percent in nearly every other country in the region.

A disproportionately large share of the unelectrified African population actually lives “under the grid” — directly beneath existing grid infrastructure.

Estimates for “under-the-grid” populations

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