Urban Planning and Sustainable Energy Transition in Sub-Saharan African Countries

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 10:45 AM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Xavier LEMAIRE , Energy Institute, University College London, London, United Kingdom

Urbanisation rates in Africa are the highest in the world and in most sub-Saharan countries energy service delivery is inadequate to keep up with the needs. The situation is often dire, with cities scarcely able to provide for their existing population, let alone allocate resources to minimise the longer term environmental risks facing them such as global warming- leading to on-going crisis management and potentially spiralling declines in welfare and economic growth.

Inadequate access to electricity and limited mobility because of deficient public transports are common in major part of African cities, notably within informal settlements. The demographic trend in sub-Saharan Africa and massive migration from rural to urban areas can only aggravate difficulties and deepen the inequalities between the middle class and the poorest relegated in the margins of urban cities.

Strategies to integrate energy issues in urban planning could be built to mitigate these trends, by promoting energy efficient housing, better spatial planning and public transport and also access to energy by alternative electrification approach.  This paper presents a research on organisational dynamics and constraints faced by sub-Saharan cities; it surveys capacity constraints in municipal departments and analyses the gap between policies and implementation of sustainable energy transition measures. This on-going research relies on case studies in Uganda, Ghana and South Africa.