Access to electricity is the percentage of population with access to electricity. Electrification data are collected from industry, national surveys and international sources. The DR Congo, where only 16.4% of the population has access to electricity, is an example of the co-existence of huge hydropower potential with extreme energy poverty in the Nile Partner states. Political instability, limited access to investment finance, small market size and weak transmission connections with neighboring countries have all held back exploitation of hydro resources. Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda are among the most populous countries in the Nile Basin and have the largest populations both with and without access to electricity. Rwanda’s electrification rate has increased rapidly in recent years (from 6% in 2008 to 17% in 2012).
Nearly 80% of those lacking access to electricity across Nile Basin are in rural areas, an important distinction when considering appropriate energy access strategies and technical solutions. The problem of inadequate electricity supply is multifaceted: it includes inadequate generating capacity, rundown existing stock and limited transmission and distribution infrastructure. Within the Nile Basin, the number of people living without electricity is increasing, as rapid population growth is outpacing the many positive efforts to provide access.