Arimah, Benedict C.; Ebohon, O. J.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Geography and Geology
Energy transition and its implications for environmentally sustainable development in Africa
International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
Date of Publication
Energy transition is the process whereby there is an increase in the volume and proportion of commercial energy, to the extent that it replaces traditional fuels as the main source of energy and having enormous implications for the physical and biotic environment. This energy-environment process has rarely been the focus of research investigation in Africa. Using cross-national data drawn from the African continent, this paper examines and accounts for inter-country variations in the nature and extent of the energy transition process. The empirical analysis reveals that, for the continent as a whole, the extent to which commercial energy replaces traditional fuels is quite low. It varies between 33% and 39%. However, inter-country variations were found to be as high as 90% in countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and South Africa; and less than 15% for such countries as Benin, Burkina Faso, The Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Lesotho and Uganda. The key factors explaining inter-country variations in the energy transition process are the level of urbanization and the extent of forest and woodland resources. Other factors of secondary importance include economic growth, incidence of poverty, affordability of electrical appliances, energy trade status of the country in question and the price of commercial fuel. Finally, the paper shows that the identification of these energy transition-inducing variables is a necessary prerequisite to an effective energy and environmentally sustainable development policy formulation in Africa.....