Around million people lacked access to electricity in Africa, according to World Bank data from If you have read an article about electricity in Africa before, this number is not new to you. It has become a familiar, almost totemic refrain in every op-ed, panel discussion and program launch addressing electrification on the continent. Several days ago, the World Bank quietly updated the statistic based on data. This update provides us with a space to appreciate, again, the heavy and urgent burden of human consequence this statistic represents. It should imbue us all with a renewed sense of urgency.
More people than ever now have electricity in Africa, but 600 million are still in the dark
Number of people in the world without electricity falls below one billion - Our World in Data
One billion people don’t have access to electricity and this map shows you who
With electricity access now just shy of 90 percent, the total number of people without electricity is now under a billion for the first time ever. Increasing access to electricity has shown to increase economic, health, and academic prospects. Those without electricity are concentrated in the poorest countries in the world, largely in sub-Saharan Africa.
This year, in October, the International Energy Agency, an OECD intergovernmental organization that is one of the most influential think tanks in the energy-policy world, announced a striking finding: Global data gathered in show that the number of people without electricity fell below 1 billion for the first time ever. Your wireless headphones ran out of juice on your train or bus ride home from work, perhaps, and you had to just stare silently at the back of the head of the person in the seat in front of you for 30 minutes. Or your phone died while you were out on a long bike ride, and you had to feel your way back home, ending up spending an hour on what should have taken you 20 minutes.