IRENA has found that the lack of access to power costs the continent up to 5% in the growth of its GDP annually. [...] There can be no meaningful economic growth without access to affordable and reliable electricity supply.
Globally, Covid-19 lockdown measures have significantly decreased commercial power demand with many industries being closed or operating at minimum capacity. The opposite has obviously been true for domestic power demand which has spiked during the lockdown. The decreased commercial power demand has also meant a decrease in revenue for Africa’s ailing power utilities. In some instances, it has meant a slowdown in the development of power projects on the continent. As two of Africa’s largest economic players, South Africa and Nigeria present interesting examples of the impact of the pandemic on the power sector.