By Edith Ike-Eboh
The African Development Bank, (AfDB) says that no fewer than 650 million Africans currently live without electricity.
Dr Victor Oladokun, AfDB Director, Communication and Media Relations, disclosed this on Wednesday while welcoming African Journalists on a Media Tour to Saemaul Undong Model village project, in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire.
“About 650 million people in Africa are currently without light and some communities till today never see electricity.
“We have a commitment to ensure universal electricity commitment and few other commitments,’’ he said
He said that Africa by 2050 would have a population of close to two billion people, a population of China and India put together.
He added that about 90 per cent of the people living in rural areas in Africa live in darkness.
“A state like Lagos in Nigeria has about 25 million population, five million commutes out of Lagos.
“Lagos, like Addis are likely to double its population to 40 to 45 million in the next 20 years, are we prepared? he asked.
He said that the continent needed to work hard to be able to manage the population with the basic needs.
He noted that the bank had five key areas of focus to ensure effective development of the region.
The five key areas, he said, include: Light up Africa, Feeding Africa, Integrating Africa, Industrializing Africa and Improve Quality of Life in Africa.
He said that the bank had continued to expand its operations to take business closer to consumers in the field.
According to him, the bank has established 40 offices in different countries in the region as against the 14 it used to have.
“As a bank, we need to be closer to the consumers and the private sector,’’ he said
He added that the bank had refocused its effort to ensure that rural areas were developed over urban centres to bring the desired result in the region