This study shows that access to grid connectivity increases the number of work hours, female employment, household expenditure, and certain educational outcomes.
The evidence demonstrating the welfare impacts of electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa remains weak and inconsistent, leading some to assert that emphasis on access, in and of itself, is misplaced and that more should be done to identify the complementary conditions that are needed to deliver the anticipated economic growth and improved welfare outcomes. This project seeks to contribute to this debate, by focusing on the impacts of Uganda’s electrification efforts. Difference-in-difference estimation with fixed effects on five waves of Uganda National Panel Survey data is employed to characterize both the average and heterogeneous impacts of electrification. The findings show that access to grid connectivity increases the number of work hours, female employment, household expenditure, and certain educational outcomes. There was an increase in the number of girls who sat for final exams; however, there was no significant impact on the proportion of girls who passed with grades in the first division of their final year national examinations. The time effects are significant for all socioeconomic variables, underscoring that the welfare improvement impact of clean energy access may not occur immediately.
Keywords: electrification; Uganda; clean energy; gender; girls’ education