Energy Deficit Impacting Africa’s Economy

Photograph of panelists at the Africa Prosperity Dialogue Launch


THE DIRECTOR General of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Kofi Bosompem Osafo-Maafo, has highlighted that the energy deficit in many African countries is impeding the continent’s ability to achieve economic freedom and development.

Speaking at the launch of the Africa Prosperity Dialogue 2025 in Accra, Mr. Osafo-Maafo emphasized that the energy deficit has significant implications for the continent’s development, hindering economic growth by limiting industrial expansion, infrastructure development, and productivity.

Osafo-Maafo stressed, “We cannot drive growth with an energy deficit.” Electricity coverage across Africa is only about 30%, while in developing countries it is close to 70% and even approaching 90%, this deficit makes growth challenging.”

He further explained, “With this deficit, it becomes difficult to leverage natural resources in any value chain. Take aluminum, for example. How can you develop the value chain if there is a shortage of power? Energy is crucial for development.”

Osafo-Maafo also pointed out that Africa’s telecommunication space is rapidly growing without the proper regulatory system in place.

He highlighted the recent damage to major undersea data cables serving Africa and emphasized the need to address these issues to ensure growth.

“Our regulatory system around the continent has allowed our growth and not built any redundancy. So there have been great investments and returns coming out of the sector but we have not built any redundancy”.

“So we need to look at how we address issues making sure that we have redundancy within our system to grow because if we don’t we are going to be a constraint,” he said.


Group CEO of Telecel, Moh Damush emphasized the evolving telecom infrastructure, stating, “We are transitioning from providing data to our customers to providing data to industries.” This transition requires substantial investment and infrastructure focus as all industries will become dependent on data in the coming decades.”

Minister for Railways Development, John-Peter Amewu, urged African leaders to prioritize the development of the railway sector to facilitate connectivity among countries on the continent.

He emphasized that railway infrastructure should be viewed as a social service, with governments constructing railway lines for private sector operation.

“It is the responsibility of African countries now to address the gap and how we can improve the railway infrastructure. The railway infrastructure must be seen as a social service just as we construct roads, the government must be able to construct railway lines and leave it to the private sector to operate,” he added.


By Prince Fiifi Yorke