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Wood Mackenzie’s report says Sub-Saharan Africa needs $350 billion investment for improved electricity

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A new report by Wood Mackenzie Ltd says Sub-Saharan Africa would need an investment of $350 billion between now and 2030, to be able to improve electricity generation/distribution and potentially solve the region’s long-standing electricity access problem.

The report, titled “Utility evolution in Africa to reshape global electricity demandwas released on Thursday (17th March) by the UK-based energy and consultancy group.

“These investment opportunities work around the fiscal and operational bottlenecks posed by some of Sub-Saharan Africa’s state utilities. Service providers are going straight to the bankable segments of residential, commercial, and industrial electricity demand, typically through distributed, renewable, off-grid solutions where the public utility does not feature.” The report says.

Wood Mackenzie Ltd is a global research and consultancy firm with over 50 years of practice. Wood Mackenzie partners organisations and governments to inspire better decision-making with a focus on oil, gas & LNG, power & renewables, chemicals, and metals & mining sector teams located around the world.

According to research, the number of people in the region with access to electricity has grown dramatically over the past decade, but about 600 million remain without power. To meet a United Nations goal of universal access by 2030, further progress is needed not only in grid link-ups but in off-grid systems using sources such as solar energy.

United Nations says “The number of people without access to electricity fell to around 1 billion in 2016 from 1.7 billion in 2000. The number of people gaining access to electricity each year is accelerating, thanks to strong successes in some countries, including Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, and Tanzania. Grid electrification has been the source of almost all energy access gained since 2000 and is likely to remain the most favourable option for many households, especially in more densely populated areas”

But Sub-Saharan Africa has been bedevilled with cases of grid collapse. Just last week in Nigeria, distribution companies announced the collapse of the country’s national grid amidst a nationwide blackout said “We would like to inform you of another system collapse on the National Grid which occurred at 5:10 pm today. We are monitoring the situation and will continue to provide updates.”

The electricity situation in Sub-Saharan Africa has been epileptic with Nigeria leading the race. Power in Nigeria has been in its worst moment since the past months as generation capacity dropped to 2,000 megawatts with about 14 power plants shutting down. Nigeria’s centralized electricity model have not yielded much for the West African country.

 “Decentralized, bottom-up solar-and-storage grids could not only reshape Africa’s energy future but carry important lessons for the next generation of thinking on utility business models globally, Benjamin Attia, an analyst at WoodMac, said

Electricity demand in Sub-Saharan Africa has doubled over the past 15 years and is expected to increase nearly eight-fold by 2050. The report by Wood Mackenzie said the growing demand is driven by these three fundamental-urbanization trends: population growth, rapid urbanisation, and structural economic transformation.

The report further attributed Africa’s long-standing electricity access problem to massive underinvestment in the region’s electricity infrastructure. It said with the right investments, Sub-Saharan Africa could potentially change the trajectory of electricity demand and supply, not only within the region but globally.

Now, the interesting part is that the declining costs of renewable energy, coupled with innovative business models, could make it easier to bridge the investment gap and provide reliable and affordable energy access across the region.

 

 

 

 

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South African home services startup, SweepSouth, secures $11m funding for further expansion

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Fast rising South African online home services startup, SweepSouth, has successfully raised US$11 million in funding to enable it expand and establish its presence in other African countries.

The CEO and co-founder of the platform, Aisha Pandor, said on Tuesday that “funding will allow the company further develop and grow its infrastructure and team in South Africa, roll out new services in existing markets, and pursue both greenfield expansions and acquisitions across the African continent and beyond.

“This new funding round is an important one for our team as we continue to scale in South Africa, and further grow our operations in Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt.

“We’re excited to continue SweepSouth’s work in connecting customers with home service providers across the continent, building a platform that empowers domestic workers and local tradespeople,” Pandor told Disrupt Africa.

Founded in 2014 by Pandor and Alen Ribic, SweepSouth is an online platform providing on-demand home cleaning services, operating across various South African cities as well as in Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt.

The funding round was led by Alitheia IDF, a gender-lens private equity fund, and also includes current investors Naspers Foundry, The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and Futuregrowth Asset Management. New investors Endeavor Catalyst, Endeavor’s Harvest Fund II, Caruso Ventures, and E4E Africa also joined the round.

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YouTube paid $50 billion to creators, media outlets in 3 years, to pay them 45% Ad revenue

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Video streaming platform, YouTube, has revealed that it paid content creators, artists, and media companies over $50 billion over the last 3 years.

The Google-owned streaming service recently announced that it would introduce advertising on its video feature shorts and give video creators 45% of the revenue.

With 30 billion-plus daily views and 1.5 billion-plus monthly logged-in users, Youtube is introducing new ways for creators to earn revenue through Shorts, and re-imagining the music industry and creator dynamic by opening up ads monetization for those who feature music in their videos.  

YouTube’s Chief Product Officer, Neal Mohan, said: “YouTube’s first-of-its-kind, industry-leading Partner Program changed the game for long-form video. And now we’re changing the game again, this time by opening it up to Short-form creators and introducing revenue sharing to Shorts.

“This is the first-time revenue sharing is being offered for short-form video on any platform at scale, adding to the 10 ways creators can already earn revenue on YouTube. It’ll be available to all of those in YPP — including the new, mobile-first creators, who will be joining the program for the first time.”

Also speaking, Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s Global Head of Music, said: “Creator Music is the future. We’re building the bridge between artists and creators on YouTube to elevate the soundtrack of the creator economy; it’s a win-win-win for artists, songwriters, creators, and fans.

With Creator Music, artists have a new way to get their music out into the world; fans can now discover music they love on their favorite creator’s channels, and both creators and artists will have new revenue opportunities.

YouTube has 2.1 billion monthly active users based all around the world and the number shows no signs of slowing down, with the projected number of users increasing each year. In terms of daily active users, YouTube sees approximately 122 million users per day.

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