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Gender and Social Inclusion in Off-grid Solar: A handbook for Sub-Saharan Africa


Sub-Saharan Africa has made much progress with electrification. More than 20 million people gained
access to electricity between 2014 and 2018. However, the region still faces the challenge of providing
access to 595 million people who currently do not have access to electricity, and the growing
population in unelectrified areas. In addition, electrification in the region has been quite uneven. As at
2018, only 25% of households in rural areas had access to electricity compared to 75% in urban
areas. Moreover, limited access to energy in sub-Saharan Africa contributes to a gender disparity as
women spend three to five times as much time on domestic activities than men. According to the
United Nations High Commission for Refugees, only one out of ten refugees in camps have access to
electricity. In Kakuma, one of the large refugee camps in Kenya, only 12,500 people out of the
250,000 residents have access to electricity. These gaps point to disparities that need to be at the
forefront of electricity access efforts in the region, especially because electricity has been identified as
a basic need that is fundamental to the well-being and dignity of all people.

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