The Paris-based agency acknowledged the continent's industrialisation relied in part on expanding natural gas use.

By Africa needs $25bn annually for universal energy access by 2030: IEA

Africa will need $25bn in annual investment to provide universal access to energy by the end of the decade, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated in a report published on June 20.

The IEA estimates that access to electricity in Africa fell by 4% between 2019 and 2021, in part because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic instability. This means that there are 25mn more people in Africa living without electricity today than before the pandemic, the agency estimates.

In its Sustainable Africa Scenario, the IEA predicts that renewables could account for over 80% of new power generation capacity addition by 2030. But the agency also notes that "the continent's industrialisation relies in part on expanding natural gas use."

The over 5 trillion m3 of gas that has been discovered to date in Africa but has not yet been sanctioned for development could yield an additional 90bn m3/year of gas supply by the end of the decade, supporting the continent's fertiliser, steel, cement and water desalination industries. 

“The immediate and absolute priority for Africa and the international community is to bring modern and affordable energy to all Africans – and our new report shows this can be achieved by the end of this decade through annual investment of $25bn, the same amount needed to build just one new LNG terminal a year,” IEA director Fatih Birol said in a statement. “It is morally unacceptable that the ongoing injustice of energy poverty in Africa isn’t being resolved when it is so clearly well within our means to do so.”