The keys to development in Africa: electricity, water, access to finance

Africa is addressing the numerous challenges that its people must cope with on a daily basis:

•    Lack of electricity: Today, 622 million people in Africa today (two thirds of the population) live without electricity.  And those who have access to electricity pay it three times more than Americans and Europeans. Regular power-cuts impact economic activities and have major consequences on productivity.  Yet Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) has a total power generation capacity of 28GW, which is equivalent to the capacity of Argentina.

•    Water unfit for consumption: Over 350 million people still don’t have access to water, including clean drinking water in particular in rural areas.  In 1995, 13 African countries suffered from water shortages – by 2025 this will have grown to 25.

•    Unequal and limited access to finance: Inclusive finance and access to investment in general is a major issue in Africa.  Official Development Aid from third party donors accounts for only a very small percentage of resources in Africa and private investment has now overtaken official development aid.

A solar energy operator and provider of filters for clean and drinking water, SOLEKTRA INT has developed innovative, reliable and targeted solutions to help every country on the continent generate its own electricity and overcome the challenges Africa faces. SOLEKTRA INT’s founders, Samba Bathily, Akon and Thione Niang, are driven by a single ambition: democratize access to electricity all over the African continent, with a view to expand footprint up to 40 countries by 2020.

africa-future-childrenFuture of Africa, Guinea – Photo : David Monfort – DAGENCY

“We could bring about a real transition  with the past. Access to electricity today can be compared to telecommunications in the 1990s. In 1990, 2% of Africans had access to a landline; 20 years later, 70% of Africans have access to a mobile phone”

Jean-Michel Huet
Associate at Bearingpoint

“We should all be aware that providing water treatment and drinking water (…) means launching the development of our continent. More than 70% of beds in hospitals in Africa are occupied by people who suffer from diseases that can be avoided and resulting from the quality of water”

Daniel Kablan-Duncan
Prime Minister, Ivory Coast

“Experts have estimated that the cost of a global safety net to eradicate extreme poverty in all countries is about $66 billion annually and that annual investment requirements in infrastructure — water, agriculture, telecoms, power, transport, buildings, industrial and forestry sectors, etc.— amount to $5 trillion to $7 trillion globally.”

Amadou Sy, Senior Fellow & Director, Africa Growth Initiative, Brookings