gridSenegalsmall.jpgPower Grid

Fewer than 10% of rural households in sub-Saharan Africa have access to electricity, and many social institutions including health clinics and schools do not have power. Overcoming rural poverty requires opportunities for income-generating activities such as agro-processing and other small businesses that require electricity. Lighting allows students to study in the evenings, and small businesses can remain open after dusk. Electricity also underpins access to technologies such as computers and televisions, which are an important source of information in rural areas. In health clinics, electricity is needed for sterilization, water supply and purification, sanitation, and refrigeration of essential medicines. Finally, lack of electricity can increase the difficulty of attracting educated workers such as teachers, doctors, nurses, and extension agents to rural areas.

In the MV Sim, electricity increases small business income and improves the quality of the health clinic. For example, the village population will tend to recover more quickly after a malaria epidemic if the local clinic has electricity.

For more information, see:

UN Millennium Project. "Energy Services for the Millennium Development Goals." 2005.
World Bank Independent Evaluation Group. "The Welfare Impact of Rural Electrification." 2008.