Electrification in Tanzania from a Historical Perspective - Discourses of Development and the marginalization of the Rural Poor
Presenter: Jonas van der Straeten
| While rural electrification has attracted much scholarly attention in the last years, few attempts have been made to conceptualize electrification as an embedded and contingent process. A historical approach can contribute to understanding the roots of the current urban-rural disparities of rural electrification. Using the example of Tanzania, this paper takes a historical perspective on electricity
supply in sub-Sahara Africa, focusing on the discourses associated with the provision of electricity and the shared terms and concepts they produced. It argues that the rural poor’s energy needs were marginalized in most of these discourses, leading to the fact that only recently, 100 years after electricity has become commercially available, efforts for an extensive rural electrification are
slowly bearing fruit
Jonas van der Straeten: Micro Perspective for Decentralized Energy (MES) 2015, Bangalore, India.