The role of international institutions in fostering sub-Saharan Africa’s electrification

Simone Tagliapietra, Tagliapietra Simone, Morgan Bazilian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


International institutions, such as multilateral development banks and national development agencies, are crucial in funding the provision of electricity services in sub-Saharan Africa. This article discusses the role of these institutions in bringing electricity to the region. The article shows that the scale and focus of global initiatives is wide and eclectic, and coordination between large and smaller funders remains critical. It highlights how over the past decade, 92 percent of international financial support to SSA’s electrification came from World Bank Group (WBG), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Union (EU). The EU’s actions in the field appear to be particularly fragmented. The WBG, the AfDB and the US have streamlined their actions largely by focusing resources on a few initiatives. The article concludes with recommendations to help get more large-scale projects funded, and increase technical assistance and capacity building. Better coordination and information-sharing mechanisms to track the rapidly-changing landscape will be critical to achieve the energy access goals in sub-Saharan Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Africa
  • Electrification
  • Energy access


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