Top 5 countries championing solar energy in Africa

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Top 5 countries championing solar energy in Africa

Currently, significant progress has been recorded in Africa in the investment, development, and deployment of solar energy markets in the past year.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2020 pointed out that the growth was primarily driven by five nations in different regions across the continent namely, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, and Ghana.

All five countries mentioned generated about 1,067MW of newly installed photovoltaic capacity in the year 2018. To what does the term photovoltaic mean?

Short for PV, a photovoltaic system is a complete set of parts for converting sunlight into electricity by the photovoltaic process, including a balance of system components. Below are major African countries driving the adoption of solar energy.


The country of the pharaoh, the sphinx, and the pyramid is not only renowned as one of the most historical countries in Africa, but it is also one of the sunniest.

Egypt has witnessed development in terms of new PV installations, making it the fastest-growing solar energy market in Africa in 2018, leading South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, and Ghana.

The country’s solar entire industry is estimated to be around 581MW of new PV capacity. As a result of fact that a greater part of the country is arid, with the River Nile being a major source of its water generation. Egypt seems like a good place for the solar power industry to thrive.

South Africa

Renowned for being Africa’s largest solar energy market, South Africa has an installed PV capacity of 2.5GW. Going by this figure, the country has arguably the largest market in terms of operational solar systems.

However, the country’s solar market has experienced some major setbacks for some years.


A major economy in East Africa, Kenya has an additional 55MW of PV capacity, a pioneering record for Africa’s foremost tourism destination.

Apart from its huge solar investments, the country currently has achieved an energy mix consisting of around 65% of renewables, making it one of the largest renewable energy destinations on the continent.


This Sub-Saharan African country has been able to achieve almost double of its installed PV capacity, from 46MW in 2017 to 79MW in 2018.

Namibia has always shown substantial promise for clean energy development. Even now, it is not slowing down in its effort to promote the adoption of renewable energy among its citizens.


Ghana is the only country in West Africa that has put an impressive amount of focus on solar energy development. Unsurprisingly, Ghana makes the list of the top five countries championing the solar energy sector.

In 2018, the country added 25 MW of new PV installations to arrive at a total of 64 MW of cumulative installed solar energy capacity. This is a representation of annual growth of 76%.

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