Expanding grid access for residents of rural Senegal
Senegal seeks to reach universal electricity access by 2025. Continued collaboration between Power Africa and the national electricity utility, Senelec, is helping to realize this goal. In the past year, we connected more than 200,000 consumers to the national grid.
Just over half of Senegal’s population has access to reliable electricity, the majority of whom live in urban areas. In 2020, the Government of Senegal set an ambitious goal to provide all citizens with access to reliable, high-quality, and affordable electricity by 2025, through the Plan d’Accès Universel à l’Electricité (Universal Access to Electricity Program). To support this goal, Power Africa is partnering with the Government of Senegal and the Senegalese national electricity utility, Senelec, to connect more homes and businesses to the electricity grid.
In the past year, direct Power Africa support resulted in more than 200,000 new consumer connections to the grid, including 160,000 in rural areas. Since 2013, Power Africa-assisted projects in Senegal have delivered 272,000 on-grid connections and 470,000 total connections, providing electricity access to more than 2.3 million people.
This latest round of electrification is a result of an in-depth nationwide field study of more than 4,000 households, community leaders, and business owners. The study allowed Senelec to strategically focus its efforts on identifying and electrifying rural areas that lacked access to the grid. By expanding the grid to these areas, farming communities can utilize powered agricultural processes like irrigation and refrigeration to more efficiently care for their crops and provide for their families.
The study further revealed that many households, even in areas connected to the grid, were not electrified. Power Africa technical assistance supported Senelec to identify methods to overcome barriers to access for these customers, such as increasing access to affordable household wiring services, digitizing the connection process, and designing community campaigns to tout the benefits of electricity connections.
Finally, the study identified households that needed additional financial support to overcome cost barriers.
In addition to the national field study, Power Africa also trained more than 70 Senelec staff on topics such as conducting feasibility studies, economic and financial analysis, monitoring and evaluation, marketing and communications, gender mainstreaming, and organizational management. These capacity-building trainings provide the utility with the skills and knowledge to conduct similar studies in future to drive strategy and allow Senegal to reach its electricity access goals.