Atlas of Africa Energy Resource
Africa is rich in energy resources but poor in its capability to exploit and use them. Many African countries face an energy crisis. Power is inaccessible, unaffordable and unreliable for most people, trapping them in poverty. There are solutions, however, including the following: significant investment in energy infrastructure; technology transfers; improving access to electricity on a large scale; boosting cross-border power trade; improving the performance of existing utility companies; and helping countries chart low-carbon growth paths. Understanding where the opportunities for tapping this wealth exist and where shortages occur is fundamental to developing these solutions, but until now, this kind of information has not been readily available all in one place.
There currently exist several good sources of information on Africa’s energy at the continental scale and a wealth of data at the national level. However, there is need for a document that compiles and synthesizes relevant data and information in a format that is easily understandable to both the public and policy makers. To fill this gap, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA), in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have developed an ATLAS OF AFRICA ENERGY RESOURCES to graphically illustrate where the resources are, where the potential for expansion occurs and what the possible impacts on the environment could be. It provides visual information on the challenges and opportunities to providing Africa’s population with access to reliable, affordable and modern energy services. Through maps, charts and images, this Atlas combines scientifically reliable data sources to provide a complete view of Africa’s energy needs, resources and opportunities. Comparative satellite images illustrate the positive and negative changes that have taken place over the years to help policy-makers reach better- informed decisions.
Extensive research was undertaken to compile and analyze information from various energy databases; global, regional and national reports; and web sites. Historical and current satellite images of relevant places were selected and analyzed using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. A number of experts continent-wide were involved and consultation meetings were organized to seek input from national experts, academics, international organizations and officials of regional power pools as well as from the African Power Utility Association. An intensive review process was undertaken to ensure quality control and scientific validity of the Atlas.