How does electricity insecurity affect businesses in low- and middle-income countries?

Research reports and studies
January 2015
Andrew Scott, Emily Darko, Alberto Lemma and Juan-Pablo Rud

This study addresses the question 'How does electricity insecurity affect the productivity and growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in low- and middle-income countries, and how can this impact be mitigated?' The study focuses on Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania and Uganda, with specific case studies in four of those countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda).

The key findings of the report include that:

  • electricity insecurity does impact the productivity of manufacturing SMEs negatively, but these impacts are often statistically insignificant and they can at times be positive.

  • electricity insecurity does not affect the cost-competitiveness of manufacturing SMEs, partly because electricity costs are usually a very small proportion of total costs.