Africa’s largest economies produce significantly more energy than other African peers. Also, the oil-producing nations record substantial energy surpluses, but similar to other African countries with energy surpluses, a substantial amount of energy is exported without domestic demand being widely satisfied. Rising fuel and electricity prices also continue to impact Africa’s manufacturing sector adversely. In most parts of West and East Africa, backup power systems (diesel-powered generators) are used by manufacturing companies as their main energy source. The reliance on higher-priced electricity for production processes inhibits African manufacturing companies from competing effectively with Asian and developed world counterparts.
Access to electricity plays a salient role in economic growth and investment decisions. In its Doing Business 2014 report, the World Bank measures the ease with which businesses in 189 countries can access electricity. The “getting electricity” indicator captures the procedures, time and cost involved for a business to obtain a permanent electricity connection to supply a standardised warehouse. In this regard, Africa performed relatively poorly, with 38 African countries ranked outside of the top 100, and only 13 countries managing to rank inside the top 100. In fact, 21 African countries, including the continent’s two largest economies, namely South Africa (150th) and Nigeria (185th), did not even breach the top 150 countries.
The best performing countries in the region were Mauritius (48th), Rwanda (53rd), Tunisia (55th), and Cameroon (62nd), while the worst performing countries were Guinea-Bissau (188th), Madagascar (187th), Nigeria (185th), and South Sudan (184th). Other large African economies that performed poorly include Angola (170th), Kenya (166th), and Algeria (148th). However, it should be noted that six out of the 10 countries that have narrowed the distance to the frontier the most since 2009 are in Africa, including Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Central African Republic and Liberia (the frontier is the best performing country in each indicator).
Access to Electricity
While access to electricity affects investment decisions and consequently potential growth, the quality of electricity supply has an impact on productivity, with further implications on economic development. Energy networks that provide reliable and affordable electricity are also essential because disruptions in the energy supply can impose large costs on companies, especially large manufacturing, electricity-intensive businesses, which need to stop and restart their operations after a power interruption. Figures from a recent World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2013/14 Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) show that only five African countries have scores above the global average with regards to the quality of electricity supply. Only Namibia, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritius and Seychelles perform better than the world average, while Guinea, Chad, Angola, Nigeria, Burundi and Cape Verde are all ranked within the 10 worst performing countries in the indicator. At least 30 countries in Africa experience daily electricity outages, which can result in an annual loss of anywhere between 5% of GDP in countries like Uganda and Malawi, and between 2% and 5% of GDP in Tanzania and Kenya.
Senegal: improved to 8th position in Africa.
Senegal is the 8th country in Africa in terms of access to electricity, said Abdoulaye Dia, general secretary of the national electricity company (Senelec).
Senegal, 8th African country in terms of access to electricity
“Senegal is the 8th country on the African level, in terms of access to electricity, but we have to transform our country more easily,” Dia said.
According to Abdoulaye Dia, who was speaking to the press on the sidelines of a training workshop organized by APIX for the collective of economic journalists (COJES), “this requires strategy, means and commitment Of consumers “.
“We serve consumers. Before we thought about giving you the current. Today we think it is the customer who must control the action of the Senelec, “he said.
According to him, “Senegal has 200 megawatts of reserve. It is more than the consumption of Mali, twice that of Mauritania “.
“This reserve is still waiting. It allows us, in the event of the most critical breakdown, that the customer is not cut off, “the Secretary-General said.
“Today, at Senelec, which was once confronted with several challenges, we have a calm mind in relation to satisfying demand, we must tackle the fundamentals of a normal society with certified balance sheets, rules and regulations. Procedures, “Dia said.
“We initiated the processes to have recognized procedures but also a legal and regulatory framework with the accompaniment of the State, but also a financial rating,” Abdoulaye Dia said.
All this calls for a “consolidation of the sector which has yielded beneficial results”, asserted Dia, noting however that the Sénélec being a public company must reinvest its profits in infrastructures.