Meeting the Future Demand for Electricity in the Arab World

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Washington, November 15, 2017 – The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region may struggle to meet the electricity demands of its growing populations and economies, according to a new World Bank report launched today. “Shedding Light on Electricity Utilities in the Middle East and North Africa,” offers policy makers, regulators and the managers of electricity utilities an extensive analysis of the current performance of electricity utilities.

Improvements in the efficiency of electricity utilities could cover the average investment urgently needed in the region’s electricity sector, estimated at 3 percent of GDP. Current inefficiencies of utilities are mainly due to tariffs set below cost-recovery levels, but also to commercial losses, collection failures, and overstaffing.

The report underlines the importance of client oriented electricity utilities that function efficiently and effectively in response to client demands. The need to strengthen the region capabilities is also emphasized in tandem with raising cost- efficiency.

The report also inaugurates a newly created electricity database that covers 67 electricity utilities of 14 economies of the MENA region: Algeria, the Arab Republic of Egypt, Bahrain, Djibouti, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, the Republic of Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the West Bank. The database offers a valuable public resource for policy makers providing help in reconciling the multiple dimensions of utility management performance with key energy policy concerns. 

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