access to electricity
Map of eastern hemisphere highlighting Africa

Africa is endowed with one of the world’s most significant renewable energy potential, estimated by IEA in 300,000 GW for solar pv potential capacity and 7,000 GW for wind.

Yet, access to electricity still remains a critical caveat for the future of the African continent, where over half of the planet human beings without access to electricity on a global scale live today.

Enel Foundation, in partnership with European and African based think-tanks IAI -  Istituto Affari Internazionali - and Policy Center for the New South, have recently launched a book on “Empowering Africa: Access to power in the African continent”, published by Peter Lang as part of its Global Politics and Security series.

Edited by Lorenzo ColantoniGiuseppe Montesano and Nicolò Sartori, the volume features a preface by Antonello Cammisecra, Enel Green Power CEO, Chairman of RES4Africa and EF Board member "highlighting the key role governments should play more and more in establishing a coherent set of rules for sustainable development  enabling investment in renewables and grid infrastructures".

Featuring contributions by renowned experts, the book describes the main developments in the Africa’s electricity sector, addressing the tremendous opportunities for a leapfrog in electrification, both from a regional and a thematic point of view, and attempting to define the key trends of a sector that is de facto contributing to shape the continent’s political, social and economic dynamics for the next decades.

Starting from the analysis of present and future economic, demographic, social and technological trends, Empowering Africa offers an in-depth assessment of the current status and of the future prospects of access to electricity in the African continent. Access to electricity is an essential factor for the future of the African continent, whose socio-economic development is strongly limited by high energy poverty rates and reduced access to electrical services.

International conference on Empowering Africa

The book was presented on the occasion of an international conference co-organized by IAI, Policy Center for the New South and Enel Foundation, in Rome, on May 6th.

The conference, starting from the analysis of economic, social and technological trends addressed in the volume Empowering Africa, offered an assessment of the current state and future prospects for access to electricity in the African continent.

After the introductions by Nathalie Tocci Director of IAI, Giuseppe Montesano, Deputy Director of Enel Foundation and Bouchra Rahmouni, Director of Research, Partnerships and Events, Policy Center for the New South, the book was presented by Nicolò Sartori, Head of Energy, Climate & Resources Programme at IAI.

Antonio Cammisecra, then delivered an inspirational keynote speech outlining the tremendous opportunities of renewable energy in the continent to ensure sustainable development for all.

A series of well renowned experts contributed to a lively debate. From Roberto Vigotti, Secretary-General of RES4MED&Africa to Izael Da Silva, Deputy-Vice Chancellor at Strathmore University, from  Getahun Moges Kifle, Director-General of Ethiopian Energy Authority to  PierCarlo Sandei, Coordinator of Africa Center for Sustainable Development, UNDP and Ali Zerouali, Cooperation Director at Masen: private and public stakeholders agreed that empowering Africa is a collective journey in which we should all embark united to ensure a sustainable and equitable future for the continent.