Electricity access in Mozambique: A critical policy analysis of investment, service reliability and social sustainability

Daniela Lidia Jacob Salite, Joshua Daniel Kirshner, Matthew Cotton, Lorraine Howe, Boaventura Cuamba, João Feijó, Amélia Zefanias Macome

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Mozambique is a resource-rich energy hub, yet rural community access to electricity remains low, and urban centres suffer poor service quality. Aging transmission infrastructure, consumer growth, erratic generation, and extreme weather events exacerbate power cuts and oscillations that disrupt household activities and damage appliances. Through qualitative critical policy analysis of household (n=120) and public/private stakeholder (n=87) interviews in the four largest cities of Mozambique (Maputo, Matola, Beira and Nampula) we assess diverse perspectives on reliability, affordability, and investment/revenue-raising to meet SDG7 to provide clean, modern energy services for all. We find that although electricity tariffs commonly exceed household budgets, they remain politicised and are not cost-reflective – putting the national utility Electricidade de Moçambique E.P. (EDM) into growing debt and imminent insolvency, hindering its ability to ensure reliable, quality and affordable services. We recommend unbundling the electricity sector to enable EDM and the energy regulator (Autoridade Reguladora de Energia – ARENE) to be managed independently, and reducing state-induced inefficiencies that limit their ability to make transparent and fair decisions on tariffs, their institutional capacity and performance, and the development of the power sector.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102123
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Early online date27 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Author(s)


  • electricity access
  • Mozambique
  • critical policy analysis
  • SDG7
  • electricity tariffs

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