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A brighter outlook

Over the past seven years, Haiti’s’s electrification rate has accelerated to around 1 percentage point a year. That’s a fivefold increase in the share of the population that gains access to electricity every year. But it still isn’t fast enough. Analysts at the United Nations estimate that electrification rates in the Caribbean will only reach 70 or 80 percent by 2040, noting that an electrification rate of less than 80 percent is almost universally associated with low per capita GDP and widespread povertyg elit.

Lighting up

Overcoming Rural Energy Challenge

There’s growing consensus that, to make better progress toward full electrification, Africa will need a different approach. The continent’s phone systems provide a model. While older economies built centralized fixed line telephone networks first, Africa largely skipped that step with the rapid deployment of mobile telephone infrastructure, driven by entrepreneurial private sector companies. Africa’s energy networks may develop in a similar way, with renewable sources playing a leading role.

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