With the growing adoption of artificial intelligence and dramatic changes in global population demographics, the future of work is a source of major uncertainty, particularly in emerging economies. There is a major opportunity for employment through delivering energy access to the 650 million people in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) who still lack access – itself another major development challenge for SSA.
Agriculture, the sector which still dominates SSA economies and employs 65% of the continent’s labor force, may in fact be the sector best poised to benefit from the potential of clean energy access to simultaneously support climate resilience, while unlocking rural economic growth and job creation. However, there are few studies that focus on energy and jobs creation for SSA, and there is little quantitative data on the specific skills gaps that hinder sector growth.
This body of work focuses on the role of small-scale renewable energy technologies in job creation — an understudied area in the literature. We conducted the first, bottom-up count of employment from decentralized energy technologies in Kenya and Nigeria. It is the most comprehensive job survey known to date, creating a baseline for future data collection and a profound understanding of employment potential. The annual survey expands its scope each year.