A Roadmap to Global Electrification

An international initiative, called the “Electrification Roadmap,” is underway to connect 500 million people in developing countries to modern energy services by 2025. Electricity powers not only industrial development, but social and economic progress more broadly, and is crucial for lifting families and communities out of poverty.

JOHANNESBURG – An international initiative is underway to connect 500 million people in developing countries to modern energy services by 2025. That is a hugely ambitious – but entirely achievable – goal. It is also essential to realizing the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), because, without access to energy, it will be almost impossible to reduce poverty and hunger, or improve education and health care.

After all, electricity powers not only industrial development, but social and economic progress more broadly. In developing countries, it is a key factor in helping to lift families and communities out of poverty. Yet 58% of Africans lack access to electricity, as do large numbers of people throughout the developing world.

The new international initiative, called the “Electrification Roadmap,” grew out of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s focus on the importance of energy supplies for achieving the MDGs, as well as from his initiative “Sustainable Energy for All” (SE4ALL), and was officially launched at the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development in June 2012. As discussions there showed, these issues are receiving increased international attention and funding from governments, business, non-governmental organizations, and development finance institutions.

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