Expanding access to cleaner and modern energy options for the rural poor in East Africa : priority technical and policy options for East African CSO's
Contributor(s)Hivos Ã¢Â Â Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation
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AbstractEnergy is considered an essential ingredient in economic growth and social development in East Africa. The growth of energy demand is often driven by several factors: population growth, economic growth, urbanisation, rural electrification/energisation programmes, increasing penetration of energy-intensive appliances, and industrialisation. Energy is consumed by all sectors of the economy and therefore growth in the economies of East African countries leads to a concomitant rise in the consumption of energy. While the region is experiencing significant growth in energy demand, energy supply appears to have stagnated or dwindled. The security of energy supply – especially electricity generation – in East Africa seems to be threatened by climate change-induced phenomena, chief among which is drought. East African economies have recorded improved growth over the past few years. Leading economists of East Africa predict improved economic performance in the coming years, but the recent global financial crisis is expected to lower economic growth rates. In addition, all the countries in the region are experiencing rapid population growth, accompanied by even more rapid urbanisation. For example, it is estimated that in Kenya 40% of the population is urban, and that nearly half of the entire population will be urban by the year 2020. Rapid growth of the country’s urban population has led to growing demand for energy services, especially electricity and refined petroleum products.