Energy crisis: 5 African countries suffocating with power crisis

Source The Ghana Report

Despite Africa’s great achievements in the economic sector, many countries within the continent are perplexed by a severe energy crisis.

The dire situation, which has become one of the major issues in media discourse across Africa is affecting education, businesses, and livelihood.

A moment like this overshadows the success of African countries and calls for the need to invest in solar, wind, and thermal power, improving energy productivity, and ensuring energy for all by 2030 as the Sustainable Development Goal Seven indicates.

A search by The Ghana Report on different media outlets brings to light some African countries that for some time now have been facing severe power crises. Affected citizens are calling out for a load-shedding timetable to serve as a guide to plan for their daily activities.

  • Ghana

Ghana is one of the African countries currently facing a serious crisis. For several months, Ghanaians have been experiencing unstable power supply in various parts of the country.

As a result, many citizens called on the Electricity Company of Ghana to release a load-shedding timetable to enable them to plan for their daily activities.

However, the management of ECG dismissed the calls for a load-shedding timetable, citing that Ghana’s current power crisis is a mere challenge that will be fixed with time.

Recently, the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) reported the  Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to Ghana’s Energy Minister Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh for failing to issue a load-shedding timetable for customers during the ongoing power outages.

READ ALSO: ACEP Condemns GRIDCo Over ‘Dumsor’ Silence

Consequently, the Minority in Parliament, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and Energy Sector Players called for an ECG load-shedding timetable to help citizens plan their daily activities.

There has been an ongoing dispute between ECG and GRIDCo regarding the power outages.

In the petition submitted to the Minister on Thursday, March 28, GRIDCo said that the National System Control Centre (NSCC) has requested ECG to provide a timetable due to the unavailability of the maximum grid capacity and warns that ECG’s reluctance to comply with this request poses a significant risk to the stability of the national grid.

GRIDCo highlighted the potential consequences of ECG’s actions, warning of possible disruptions in power supply.

Meanwhile, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has taken the bold step to also fine the board members of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) who served in office from January 1 to March 18, 2024, GH¢5, 868,000.00 for failing to publish statutory notice of planned outages.

The board includes the ECG MD, Samuel Mahama Dubik, Keli Gadzekpo, who resigned as board chairman three weeks ago, Frank Annor Dompreh, and five others.

  • Nigeria

Nigeria is another African country that cannot be excluded in terms of power crisis. For some time now, parts of the states in the country have been facing power inconsistency.

The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc, EEDC, on Monday, April 15, 2024, for instance, stated customers of a total system collapse, causing a blackout in the entire Southeast.

“This resulted in the loss of supply to all our interface TCN stations. Consequently, we were unable to provide service to our customers in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo States.

“However, the situation is gradually being resolved as we received supplies at Awada TCN station, Onitsha, at 7:30 am.

“We are in constant communication with the relevant authorities awaiting the full restoration of supply by the National Control Centre, NCC, Oshogbo” the statement issued by the Head of Corporate Communications at the EEDC, Emeka Eze noted.

The country is likely to face a more serious energy crisis due to a recently approved electricity tariff hike.

In the latest development, the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has threatened to withdraw services unless the Federal government reverses the recently approved electricity tariff hike.

According to Dominic Igwebike, the acting General Secretary of NUEE, failure by the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, to address the tariff hike reversal could prompt decisive action from its members.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) sanctioned the tariff hike on April 3, particularly impacting Band A customers who receive 20 hours of power supply daily. Under the new tariff, Band A customers are now charged N225 per kilowatt-hour, a significant increase from N68/kWh.

Joined by the Nigerian Labour Congress, Trade Unions Congress, and others, NUEE vehemently opposed the tariff hike, citing its impracticality amidst the country’s economic challenges and low electricity access rate of approximately 55 percent.

  • Ethiopia

One notable African country which supplies power to neighboring countries yet is crippled by an energy crisis is Ethiopia.

The latest report by the African news website indicates that Kenya may be forced to renegotiate its 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Ethiopia if the deepening electricity crisis in the Horn of Africa nation gets out of control.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) has expressed concern over the escalating energy crisis in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, saying it poses a power supply ‘risk’ to Nairobi and could call for renegotiation of the agreement signed in July 2022.

“As of now, they (Ethiopia) have not given any notification to Kenya or us the regulator that they are not able to meet the demand because these are contractual obligations. However, in terms of the security of power supply, yes, it is a risk,” the Authority’s chief executive Daniel Kiptoo told The African in a telephone interview on April 9.

  • Kenya

Kenya for decades now has been importing electricity from Ethiopia and Uganda for its citizenry.

The country seriously battled an energy crisis in 2023 and till now it is facing some challenges due to the latest communiqué by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) in Ethiopia, expressing concern over the escalating energy crisis in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, saying it poses a power supply ‘risk’ to Nairobi and could call for renegotiation of the agreement signed in July 2022.

Meanwhile, the government has been working effortlessly to ensure stable power conditions for its citizens.

  • South Africa


South Africa like other African countries has been facing an extreme power crisis for some time now. The issue became worse in 2023 when following the series of blackouts which often lasted for for about 10 hours a day or even longer.

The issue then compelled the citizens to mount pressure on President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the decades-long crisis, which has far-reaching implications for the country’s economy, social welfare, and overall development.

A recent report by the Daily Investor indicates that the Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso has warned that South Africa faces a new blow to energy availability with an end in natural gas supply just over two years away.

The current main source of supply, two gas fields in Mozambique operated by Sasol, will not supply South African clients from mid-2026 since Sasol will use the remaining gas itself.

As with electricity, there have been numerous warnings that this was coming. However, policy inaction and a lack of guaranteed investment have stifled progress to mitigate the problem.

Mavuso said a lack of alternative infrastructure means South Africa faces an almost inevitable supply interruption.

The energy crisis in Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Kenya is a wake-up call for other African countries to up their games to curb the energy crisis which can spiral out of control and affect many more people in diverse ways.

1 Comment
  1. Anonymous says

    I personally think is poor leadership,corruption and self-interest of our leaders that brought all this things

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