COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it. As business as usual has been thrown out the window, new opportunities are emerging that could pave the way to a more prosperous future for all – and this is particularly true for energy access. As countries continue to rebuild from the pandemic, clean energy investment can support them to ‘Recover Better’ and use this unique moment to reset their economies and close gaps in energy access.
The pandemic has highlighted the deep divide in Africa on energy access progress. The latest data on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) – which aims to secure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 – shows that progress in Africa is not yet on track to meet global targets. An estimated 565 million people still lack access to electricity, while a further 900 million lack clean cooking solutions. The pandemic risks setting progress even further behind.