The African Development Bank, (AfDB) on Wednesday reported that about 650 million Africans currently live without electricity.
Making the disclosure while welcoming African journalists on a media tour to Saemaul Undong Model village project, in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire, the bank’s Director, Communication and Media Relations, Dr. Victor Oladokun, said that the continental development finance institution was determined to make electricity accessible to Africans.
He said: “About 650 million people in Africa are currently without light and some communities till today never see electricity. We have a commitment to ensure universal electricity commitment and few other commitments.’’
Projecting that by 2050 Africa would have a population close to two billion, Oladokun lamented that about 90 per cent of the people living in rural areas in Africa were living in darkness.
For instance, he pointed out a state like Lagos in Nigeria had about 25 million population out of which about five million commutes out of Lagos and that Addis which is likely to double its population to 40 to 45 million in the next 20 years is also facing similar challenge.
The AfDB spokesman said that the continent needed to work hard to be able to manage the population with the basic needs, pointing out that bank has five key areas of focus to ensure effective development of the region.
He listed the areas to include, Light up Africa, feeding Africa, Integrating Africa, Industrialising Africa and Improve quality of life in Africa.
Oladokun hinted that the bank had continued to expand its office to take business closer to consumers in the field with the establishment of 40 offices in different countries in the region as against 14 that it used to have.
He explained further that the bank had refocused its efforts to ensure that rural areas were developed, adding that developing the urban centres will not bring the desired results of broad-based development in the region