This study analyses the power infrastructure sector in East African countries of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda and covers electricity generation, transmission and distribution. East Africa has the lowest access to electrical power and smallest per capita generation, as compared to the other regions in the African continent. The demand for electricity in East Africa is expected to grow at approximately 5.3%, annually. Governments in this region have prioritised energy development and diversification. The potential for development of power infrastructure creates substantial opportunities for investors, globally. This study delves into the unique opportunities and challenges of the East African region and individual countries.
East Africa’s infrastructure development lags behind that of the Southern African region and that of the West African States. East Africa has the lowest access to electrical power and smallest per capita generation compared to all the other sub-regions on the African continent.
The demand for electricity in East Africa is expected to grow at approximately % per year.
Government has prioritised energy development and as a result, significant investment is being channelled towards the development of power infrastructure.
The potential for power infrastructure development creates substantial opportunities for investors globally; however, it is crucial to understand the unique opportunities and challenges of the East African region and the individual countries.
Most of the investment will have to come from private companies, multilateral loans and governments in the regions. Energy and electricity has become a real business issue and not just a development agency issue.
There exists potential for intraregional energy and trade integrations and this will create opportunities to reduce costs and ensure greater reliability and sustainability of power supply throughout the region.
All East African countries would need to invest significantly in cross-border interconnections to expand the electricity trade.
If cross-border interconnectors develop and ensure more power flows more readily across the region, then they could position Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania as net exporters of electricity, while Kenya and Burundi could operate as net importers.
The ability of these East African countries to deliver the necessary investments in hydro power is crucial to positioning them to supply to export markets and fast-tracking regional power trade.
The key drivers for power infrastructure development in East Africa include economic development and the increasing demand for electricity, large quantities of gas finds and the drive towards regional interconnection.
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