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Title: The need for agricultural productive uses in the national electrification plan of sub-Saharan African countries—a call to action for Ethiopia

Access to electricity is a crucial aspect of sub-Saharan Africa’s path towards development. In light of the potential for electricity access to improve quality of life, the United Nations aims to achieve universal access to ‘clean, reliable, affordable and modern’ electricity as Goal 7 of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 7). As such, governments of sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, such as Ethiopia, have developed national electrification plans to outline their pathway to universal access to electricity. In this paper, we identify why it is essential for the national electrification plans of SSA countries to prioritize electricity access for productive uses in its agricultural sector, using Ethiopia as a case study. Reviewing existing literature and using the authors’ research, we point out that there is 3.04 terawatt-hours of latent demand for small-scale pressurized cereal-crop irrigation alone in Ethiopia. Supplying this electricity demand for small-scale irrigation could lead to a reduction in the levelized cost of electricity of up to 95%. We conclude our paper by recommending the creation of a cross-sector national productive use commission that would be tasked with collecting and sharing relevant data from each sector and collaboratively creating a national productive use program that would ensure that more » Ethiopia reaps the full benefits and potential for wealth creation from access to electricity.

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Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability
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Article No. 023001
IOP Publishing
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National Science Foundation
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