LDCs Fall Behind in Getting Power to their People

Electricity

The world’s 47 least developed countries (LDCs) are falling far behind the rest of the developing world in terms of getting power to homes and businesses, according to the Least Developed Countries Report 2017 that was released this week. The report that is considered to be a valuable input to the deliberations of the High-level Political Forum which will review progress on Goal 7 of Sustained Development Goals states that, while the LDCs have made strides in recent years, achieving the global goal of universal access to energy by 2030 will require a 350 percent increase in their annual rate of electrification. According to the report, the economic “win” of access to modern energy lies in its potential contribution to structural transformation of the economy, increasing productivity and providing new opportunity for the development of higher value added activities, the report pointed out. Speaking at the launch event was Dr. Gebrehiwot Ageba, Programs Director at Ethiopian Development Research Institute who pointed out that Ethiopia is committed to ensuring sustainable energy, where the industry sector and cities especially use clean energy. The LDCs Report 2017 estimates that the investments required achieving universal access to electricity in all the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) by 2030 are 12 to 40 billion USD per year “Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 is not only a question of satisfying households’ basic energy needs. That in itself has valuable welfare implications, but we need to go beyond. For electrification to transform LDC economies, modern energy provision needs to spur productivity increases and unlock the production of more goods and services,” ,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi had stated ahead of the report’s publication. Kituyi also stated that the productive use of energy is what turns access into economic development, and what ensures that investments in electricity infrastructure are economically viable. “But that means looking beyond satisfying households basic needs to achieving transformational energy access – satisfying producers’ needs for adequate, reliable and affordable energy,” Kituyi said. While on average 10 per cent of people in other developing countries lack access to electricity, this remains the case for more than 60 per cent of the population in LDCs. And LDCs as a group have around just 8 percent the capacity of other developing economies to generate electricity per person, and barely 2 percent that of wealthier nations.

[capitalethiopia.com]