Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) low level of household electrification is well documented. Less than 10% of Sub-Saharan rural households have access to electricity and the overall access rate is below 25%. The causes are multiple and range from economic impediments and lack of funding to sub-optimal policies and electrification program designs. One major obstacle is that it is difficult for SSA practitioners to obtain practical and timely knowledge on how to overcome existing economic, technical, institutional and political barriers to electrification in their day-to-day work. Even where laws, regulations and necessary institutions are in place, relevant and recent operational experiences and techniques are not easily accessible.
The objective of the three year Africa Electrification Initiative (AEI) project is to create and sustain a living body of practical knowledge and a network of SSA practitioners in the area of design and implementation of rural, peri-urban and urban on-grid and off-grid electrification programs. Emphasis is placed on how to overcome time and cost barriers by acquiring and developing practical information and disseminating this information in a user friendly form through simple and sustainable channels of communication. The principal target audience is African practitioners. These include individuals who work for electrification agencies and funds, government ministries, regulators and state, community or privately-owned utilities.