Sustainable Energy Developments in Africa – Togo Case Study

My first trip outside Nigeria was back in 2005, when I visited my uncle in Lome, Togo. One key thing that made the holiday visit the most exciting was the availability of constant electricity – I could watch TV all day, enjoy the air conditioning, properly iron my clothes etc. This was a shock for me because I was coming from a small town called Eruwa in Oyo state, Nigeria – where I lived with my grandma without access to electricity for a couple of years due to a dilapidated connection to the national grid.

Furthermore, this wonderful experience at my uncle’s has always made me wonder how a smaller country (in comparison with my home country, Nigeria) like Togo is able to meet its energy needs. While in Nigeria, we still struggle to have access to constant electricity. Eventually, I got an answer to my question while reading an article by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) – about how “Togo is harnessing high-level political support to accelerate progress on electrification goals”.

Togo is a small country with a population of about 7,3 million people – of which 48% (~ 3,5million people) have access to electricity (in urban areas, 89% have access and 19% in rural areas). The electricity rate of Togo moved from 18% to 45% between 2005 and 2018 (almost tripled in just over 13 years). The next logical question will be: how did they achieve this feat? The country achieved this significant growth by expanding its national grid.

However, the country’s bigger ambition is to accelerate the universal access to electricity for its entire populace by 2030 (in alignment with the SDG 7). Hence, the application of integrated approach to electrification known as “Integrated Electrification Pathways (IEPs)”.

According to the definition by SEforALL, Integrated Electrification Pathway is a set of inclusive planning approaches and policy measures that support using grid, mini-grid and off-grid technologies to provide electricity and the associated energy services necessary to meet human needs and contribute to sustainable development.


This figure shows that to achieve a total electricity access, a synergy must exist between several technological solutions. Also, the agenda of both the public and private must align to achieve access to electricity for all. In conclusion, Togo is showing that it is possible to achieve universal access to electricity by following an approach that is both innovative and practical.

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