Publications

Boosting the Power Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa

China's Involvement

In series:IEA Partner Country Seriesview more titles

Published on August 03, 2016

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Lack of energy access and frequent electricity shortages are major impediments to economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Over 635 million people live without electricity in the region. Because the overall electrification rate remains at less than one-third of the population, the region needs increased investment in the power sector.

As part of their increasing activity in overseas markets, companies from the People’s Republic of China have significantly enhanced their engagement in Africa in the last 15 years, covering a wide range of sectors, including the electricity industry. Chinese-built projects and financial support from China are contributing to power sector development, extending energy access and facilitating economic growth.

This report analyses China’s engagement in the sub-Saharan Africa power sector, including the key drivers underlying Chinese investments. An overview of Chinese projects (generation, transmission and distribution) during the 2010-20 period is provided in this first-ever consolidated effort to map them.

The report identifies the key Chinese stakeholders and assesses their impact on policies affecting energy access, economic development and financing modalities. Two case studies examine Chinese investment at the country level in Ghana and Ethiopia.