By Robert Tapfumaneyi
AT LEAST 48 percent of Zimbabweans are connected to the country’s power grid, making Zimbabwe number 25 out of 34 surveyed African countries in terms of citizen access to electricity.
This is according to an Afrobarometer survey on 34 African countries.
The study found that efforts to provide reliable energy among countries on the continent were making little progress.
According to the survey, 39 percent of locals believe government was doing a good job in providing electricity but stand at 30 percent in terms of quantity and quality.
Expansion of the electric grid appears to have stalled in most surveyed 34 countries, and only about four out of 10 African households enjoy reliable supply of electricity, a marginal improvement from survey findings three years before.
The analysis further shows that citizens living in rural areas and the poor were still at a great disadvantage when it comes to lights and power.
This may explain why fewer than half of Africans think their governments are doing a good job when it comes to providing reliable supply of electricity.
“Two-thirds (65%) of Africans live in areas served by an electric grid, with no evidence of significant gains since 2011/2013,” the report says.
“While about nine out of 10 households in North and Central Africa have access to a grid, less than one-third of citizens do in Burkina Faso (28%), Madagascar (29%), Mali (30%), Guinea (32%), and Liberia (33%).”
Rural respondents are less than half as likely (44%) as urbanites (92%) to live within reach of a power grid.”
On connection, fewer than six in 10 households (58%) are actually connected to an electric grid with Morocco, Tunisia, and Mauritius boasting of near universal coverage.
More than three out of four Burkinabè, Ugandans, Liberians, and Malagasy are still without an electricity connection.
“Fewer than half (43%) of Africans enjoy a reliable supply of electricity, a marginal improvement since the previous survey round,” Afrobarometer says.
“While electricity that works most or all of the time is the norm in Mauritius (98%) and Morocco (91%), it’s a luxury in Malawi (5%) and Guinea (7%)…Ghana, more than doubled its share of citizens reporting reliable power, from 37% in 2014 to 79%.
“Fewer than half (45%) of Africans say their government is doing a good job of ensuring a reliable supply of electricity and performance evaluations are strongly correlated with the level of access to the grid.”