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The socio economic drivers of rural electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa


  • Oona Nanka-Bruce

    () (Power Networks and Energy Strategic Consulting, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 2AZ, UK)


A significant proportion of the population in sub-Saharan Africa live in the rural areas, with the majority living on less than US$1 per day. Access to electricity is considered an essential element in the sustainable development of rural areas and an enabler for countries to achieve their Millennium Development Goals. This paper contributes the first analytical study of the socio-economic factors which have a significant impact on rural electrification (RE) development in sub-Saharan Africa. The study employs cross-sectional data for 24 of the 47 countries in the sub-Saharan region and finds factors including the Human Development Index, wealth distribution, institutional development and urban population size of a country to have a significant impact on RE development. A detailed policy survey of four countries from the sample; two countries categorised as over-performing (Nigeria and Madagascar) and two as under-performing (Tanzania and Chad), highlights that collaboration with international partners, integration of national policies and strategies and the use of renewable energy sources enhances the development of rural electrification in sub-Saharan Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Oona Nanka-Bruce, 2010. "The socio economic drivers of rural electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa," Surrey Energy Economics Centre (SEEC), School of Economics Discussion Papers (SEEDS) 128, Surrey Energy Economics Centre (SEEC), School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  • Handle: RePEc:sur:seedps:128

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Vaona & Natalia Magnani, 2014. "Access to electricity and socio-economic characteristics: panel data evidence from 31 countries," Working Papers 15/2014, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    2. Amjath-Babu, T.S. & Krupnik, Timothy J. & Kaechele, Harald & Aravindakshan, Sreejith & Sietz, Diana, 2016. "Transitioning to groundwater irrigated intensified agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa: An indicator based assessment," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 125-135.
    3. repec:eee:energy:v:169:y:2019:i:c:p:380-397 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:wdevel:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:14-26 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Taale, Francis & Kyeremeh, Christian, 2016. "Households׳ willingness to pay for reliable electricity services in Ghana," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 280-288.
    6. Mawhood, Rebecca & Gross, Robert, 2014. "Institutional barriers to a ‘perfect’ policy: A case study of the Senegalese Rural Electrification Plan," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 480-490.

    More about this item


    rural electrification; socio-economic factors; developing countries; Sub-Sahara Africa; sustainable development; MDGs; econometric modelling; policy survey;

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