Energy Sector Development in Sub Saharan Africa: Case Study of Rwanda
Developing countries continue to surge their primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of development. Energy demand continues to grow rapidly and effort is being made to efficiently extract and discover new energy sources. These processes consist of extraction, processing and conversion into useful energy such as heat, gas and electricity . The strong need of electricity is observed in every development sector which shows total dependency on electricity particularly in hospitals, industries, factories, commercial areas, public institutions and households. Developing countries’ energy sector is characterized by two main factors; the use of traditional and cheap energy source such as fuel wood-biomass and charcoal which lead people to stick to it. The second is the high demand and undistributed use of modern energy sources like electricity, gas and petroleum which prevent its widespread in rural areas . According to the United Nation projection; population (7.3 billion-2015) will continue to grow with 1.18% per year which means almost addition of 83 million people annually who will need enough electricity in their everyday life . Since the beginning of 21st century, Sub Saharan Africa is having a very significant economic growth reaching more than double $ 2.7 trillion in year 2013. Energy demand within this region grew by 45% from 2000 to 2015 and account 4% on global demand. Limited number in sub Saharan Africans have access to modern energy services and more than 620 million people (two-thirds of world population) are without access to electricity . Nowadays, sub Saharan Africa has about 800 million people distributed in 38 countries. The projected population in 2050 will count 685 million (age 0-14), 1.25 billion (age 15-64) and 100 million (older than 65). The economic growth is driven by investment in mining, oil and infrastructure. The slowdown may be caused by lower global oil adjustment, insecurity and political instability. Sub- Sahara African countries have been linked to be low income countries with a huge number of population living in poverty. The region stays in average of 248 kg of oil equivalent to 238 kg which is almost half of world average. The electricity is unequally distributed with more connected households in urban areas than in rural areas. As Sub-Sahara Africa continues to initiate and invest in energy development, this research paper is expected to assess today’s African energy infrastructure development and its installed capacity and later focus on Rwanda’s energy sector development.