Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations

First Advisor

Jacqueline Braveboy-Wagner


Rural Development, Energy, East Africa


As the population and economies of Sub Saharan Africa continue to grow, the demand for modern energy will correspondingly increase. The current energy policy and limited overall access rate is not prepared for this massive demand increases and presents a major hindrance to country growth potential. This thesis focuses on the countries in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia), and compares their current energy policies and renewable energy potential within a historical context of the United States rural electrification of 1930s. It is clear that some progress has been made in plans to address the energy access concerns but there is still some delay in diversifying the energy mix with renewable sources and advancing the use of mini-grids. The use of mini-grids will provide a sustainable solution to the energy crisis by increasing electricity reliability and providing power to areas too remote for grid connection.


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