nigeria power infrastructure FLORIAN PLAUCHEUR/AFP/Getty Images

Uniting Africa for Power

Despite advances in recent years, more than 600 million Africans still lack access to electricity. An integrated power market, like that in the European Union, would help, and the place to start is at the sub-regional level.

LONDON – African countries are increasingly coming together. A landmark free-trade agreement was concluded earlier this year. East Africa has made great progress on free movement of people. And a commitment to a single market for air travel has been revived, potentially connecting countries better than ever before.

Each step toward greater cooperation and unity on the continent is, on its own, an important one. Together they show how a new generation of African leaders understand that power in the twenty-first century reflects strength in numbers.

But, for Africa, power requires power in another sense: a lack of electricity continues to hold back the continent’s progress. And here, too, integration is essential to scale and connect markets, reduce consumer costs, and drive growth.

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