Download publication

Policy Contribution

Electrifying Africa: how to make Europe’s contribution count

Electrification is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most pressing socio-economic challenges. Europe has created a myriad of fragmented initiatives to promote electrification in sub-Saharan Africa, limiting their efficacy. This sub-optimal situation should be changed by coordinating the initiatives of European institutions and EU countries through a unique platform: the EU Electrify Africa Hotspot.

By: Date: June 8, 2017 Topic: Energy & Climate

Electrification is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most pressing socio-economic challenges. Less than a third of the sub-Saharan population has access to electricity, and around 600,000 premature deaths are caused each year by household air pollution resulting from the use of polluting fuels for cooking and lighting.

Solving this issue is a fundamental prerequisite for unleashing sub-Saharan Africa’s economic potential. Given the magnitude of the challenge, only a joint effort involving sub-Saharan African countries and international public and private parties would pave the way to a solution.

Sub-Saharan African countries should be the first to move. They should reform the governance of their energy sectors, in particular by reforming their generally inefficient state-owned electricity utilities, and by phasing-out market-distorting energy subsidies. Without such reforms, international investment will never scale-up across sub-Saharan Africa.

International public and private parties must play a key role in facilitating sub-Saharan Africa’s energy transformation, particularly the electrification of rural areas, where three-fifths of the sub-Saharan African population lives. International public support is particularly important to crowd-in international private investors, most notably through innovative public-private partnerships.

China and the United States are already engaged in electrification in sub-Saharan Africa. China has substantially invested in large-scale electricity projects, while the US has put in place a comprehensive initiative – Power Africa – to scale-up electrification, particularly in rural areas, through public-private partnerships.

Europe has, instead, created a myriad of fragmented initiatives to promote electrification in sub-Saharan Africa, limiting their potential leverage in crowding-in private investment and in stimulating energy sector reforms in sub-Saharan African countries. This sub-optimal situation should be changed by coordinating the initiatives of European institutions and EU countries through a unique platform. We propose such a platform: the EU Electrify Africa Hotspot.

View comments
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Renewing the 2050 Roadmap

The objective of this brainstorm session is to explore how we can improve the quality and the impact of the revisited 2050 Roadmap, set the agenda for revising it, increase ownership of it and analyze the methodological basis of the 2050 Roadmap.

Speakers: Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: June 22, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Lights on, Africa! Europe must coordinate support for electrification

Patchy access to electricity remains a major challenge for sub-Saharan Africa's economic development. The EU and its member states have many programmes to support electrification in Africa, but fragmentation reduces their impact. A single platform for European support would provide the necessary coordination and leverage.

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: June 20, 2017
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Future of the European energy industry

Closed-door brainstorming workshop about how the European energy system is changing because of decarbonisation and digitalisation.

Speakers: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Milan Date: June 14, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

Nord Stream 2 can wait

Gazprom is pushing ahead with plans to build a second gas pipeline under the Baltic sea, straight form Russia to Germany. Supporters claim that Ukraine cannot be relied on as a transit partner, and that Europe will need more gas in the future. Georg Zachmann is unconvinced, and argues that the project should wait.

By: Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: June 13, 2017
Read article More by this author

Blog Post

What could a euro-area finance minister mean?

The idea of a euro-area budget and finance minister have been around for a long while, but the arrival of President Macron gives the proposals new impetus. Why might the euro area need a budget, and what would it do? There are various visions, some more convincing than others.

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: May 17, 2017
Read article More by this author

Opinion

Is the EastMed gas pipeline just another EU pipe dream?

Is the EastMed pipeline really a feasible project? The answer to this question is not simple, but the EastMed plan sounds unconvincing.

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: May 10, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Global decarbonisation: a wake-up call for the Middle East and North Africa

Many countries in the MENA region are heavily dependent on oil and gas for exports and taxes. But global decarbonisation could undermine revenues, even though MENA exports are globally competitive. This threatens the MENA region's social contract, so economic diversification needs to start now.

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: April 11, 2017
Read article Download PDF More on this topic More by this author

Working Paper

The political economy of Middle East and North Africa oil exporters in times of global decarbonisation

Middle East and North Africa (MENA) oil exporting countries are still not adequately equipped to prosper in a decarbonising world. Decarbonisation should therefore represent an incentive for MENA oil exporters to pursue structural processes of transition from rentier to production states.

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: April 11, 2017
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Towards EU-MENA shared prosperity

The second edition of the "Platform for Advanced & Emerging Economies Policy Dialogue" will discuss global supply chains, energy and security.

Speakers: Abdelhak Bassou, Jean-Francois Dauphin, Maria Demertzis, Karim El Aynaoui, Larbi Jaidi, Marion Jansen, Giacomo Luciani, Rania Al-Mashat, Iverna McGowan, Jolana Mungengová, Francis Perrin, Francesco Presicce, Simone Tagliapietra, Valeria Talbot and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 10, 2017
Read article Download PDF More on this topic More by this author

Policy Brief

The carbon buyers’ club: international emissions trading beyond Paris

The effort to define rules for international emissions trading faces the strong desire of nation states to develop their own climate policies, which collides with the need for tradable units in one country to be equivalent to tradable units in another country. To overcome this dilemma Georg Zachmann proposes a club of carbon-buying countries that would regulate only imported mitigation outcomes.

By: Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: April 4, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

External Publication

Securing the Energy Union: five pillars and five regions - Southern Europe

As a part of a publication on energy security, Simone Tagliapietra looks at the countries of southern Europe: Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain.

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: March 30, 2017
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

European spring - Trust in the EU and democracy is recovering

Trust in the EU and satisfaction with democracy are returning in southern European countries, where citizens’ confidence in European institutions was dented during the crisis years.

By: Uuriintuya Batsaikhan and Zsolt Darvas Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 24, 2017
Load more posts