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Insight & Analysis - June 17, 2022

5 African Countries With the Worst Power Supply

In most African countries, the issue of power supply has been a major source of frustration.

In Nigeria, electricity has been a serious concern, with the power grid collapsing for the seventh time this year less than six months into the year.

Because of how adversely the breakdown of the electricity system has impacted numerous sectors and enterprises, many founders, like Tony Elumelu, have spoken out on the problem.

The necessity of electricity cannot be overstated in this day and age. It is a necessity for community development, education, health, commerce, and agriculture.

Some countries have even widened their energy policies to include the concept of sustainable energy rather than just the availability of energy.    

Here are 5 African countries with the worst power supply.


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1. South Sudan 

The country of South Sudan, often known as Southern Sudan, is located in northeastern Africa.

South Sudan is one of the African countries with the worst power supply on the continent. 

South Sudan is in a difficult condition because barely 1% of the population has access to energy.

As of 2020, 7.24 percent of the population in South Sudan had access to electricity. It reached its best point in the last 14 years in 2020 and its lowest point in 2006, when it was 0.64.

According to the South Sudan Electricity Corporation (SSEC), over 90% of the country’s population lacks access to the national power grid, and 70% of enterprises rely on diesel-powered generators.

2. Chad 

Chad is a landlocked country in Africa’s north-central region. It is the continent’s fifth-largest country.

Despite ample sunshine and rich fossil fuel supplies, Chad has one of the lowest electricity access rates in the world, at 6.4 percent, compared to a Sub-Saharan African average of 48 percent. 

Only 10% percent of the population has access to reliable energy, and in rural regions, that number drops to under one percent.

3. Central Republic of Africa 

The Central African Republic is roughly the size of France and is bordered to the north by Chad and to the north and east by Sudan and South Sudan.

Electricity and non-solid fuel access are extremely limited in the Central African Republic. 

Electricity is available to only 14% of the population, mostly in the capital Bangui, and is nearly non-existent in rural areas.

4. Malawi 

Malawi is a landlocked country in Southeast Africa that was originally known as Nyasaland.

Malawi’s power industry is one of the most limited in Sub-Saharan Africa, with only about 10% of the country’s 18 million people linked to the grid. 

Access to power is less than 1% for the 80 percent of people living in rural areas.

5. Democratic Republic of Congo 

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, as it is officially known, has a 25-mile Atlantic Ocean coastline but is otherwise landlocked.

Despite millions of dollars in donor financing, the World Bank estimates that just 19% of the 84 million people in the DRC have access to electricity, with 41% in urban areas and 1% in rural regions. 

Millions of Congolese people’s health, education, and income-generating potential are harmed by a lack of modern power services. 

Mining firms, in order to power their facilities, direct and fund the majority of power generation development.


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