Access to energy remains a dominant challenge in Sub Saharan Africa. By excluding the regional hegemon South Africa, only 28% of the total continental population has access to electricity. Significant differences are observed with regard to energy access in various regions. While North Africa claims 99% access, the situation in southern Africa remains more dramatic with only 30.5% access. The latest Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) Annual Report to March 2014 reports the average electrification level in the SAPP region as 36%. Within the SADC region there is a wide variation among countries. Botswana, for instance, commands one of the higher rates of electrification with 47%; in stark contrast to this is the DRC and Malawi with respective electrification rates of on just 10%.
In 1994, as South Africa was emerging from apartheid and South African capital was beginning to enjoy a freedom to move that had been previously restricted, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), published its 1994 World Investment Report with a focus on: Transnational Corporations, Employment and the Workplace. In the document it notes the rise of the transnational corporation (TNC, or MNC, Multinational Corporation) and the impact and changes this has brought about to employment globally and working conditions at operational level. It further notes the actions that unions, in the form of the then International Trade Secretariats (ITS) now Global Unions had and could take to begin to engage with this new form of corporation which would require different strategies and processes from dealing with merely national companies
The publication in hand is a summary of the major findings of the comprehensive report and the major challenges ahead of the SAEN-Network. It should give first-hand information to workers, Shop Stewards and Trade Unionists as well as representatives of IndustriALL and should be a sound base for the further strengthening of the Network and their participation in defining the energy policy in the region. We trust that this publication will be of great value in pursuing these objectives.