Thursday, August 5, 2021

More have access to electricity

The proportion of the population with access to electricity in Botswana is steadily increasing.

An assessment of the percentage of people with access to electricity in Botswana shows that the country is doing well above the sub-Saharan Africa average, steadily increasing over the last few decades.

In 2000, around 22% of Botswana’s population had access; this has increased to 39.9% in 2005, 45.4% in 2010, and 53.1% in 2015 to 64.85% in 2020.

Access to energy is considered to be essential to strengthening economies and food production. However, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says the Covid-19 pandemic might dent gains countries have made to alleviate energy poverty and expand access.

“Shifting government priorities, supply-chain disruptions and social distancing measures have slowed access programmes and hindered activities in the decentralised energy access area,” says the IEA adding that mobilising development finance institutions and donors is critical to ensuring that energy access progress continues.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 is one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 which aims to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”.

While there is no universal definition of what ‘access to electricity’ means, the IEA definition entails more than just the delivery of electricity to the household.

It also requires households to meet a specified minimum level of electricity, which is set based on whether the household is rural or urban, and which increases with time. For rural households, this minimum threshold is 250 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year and for an urban household it is 500 kWh per year.

Statistics show that 67% of the developing world still goes without household electricity. Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) research shows that investment for better electricity access falls far short of the spending needed to deliver universal access by 2030.

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