International agencies warned on Monday that the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has left more than 25 million people in Africa and Asia unable to purchase energy, jeopardising a worldwide aim of providing electricity to everyone by 2030.
According to an annual global report tracking power outages, two-thirds of those affected were in Sub-Saharan Africa, widening inequities in the region’s access to electricity.
This jeopardises progress made in the previous decade, which saw more than a billion people gain access to power since 2010, bringing the global population to 90 per cent by 2019. However, the pandemic has put the United Nations-backed aim of ensuring universal access to energy by 2030 “in jeopardy,” with the number of people without power in Africa expected to rise in 2020 after declining for the previous six years research.
He emphasised that 759 million people still lack access to power, with half of them living in fragile and conflict-torn countries.