Green Growth Diagnostics for Africa

Home to some of the world's fastest growing economies, sub-Saharan Africa is currently facing a large electricity deficit, which results in frequent black-out periods and has an impact on education, health and business. This project is looking into the heart of the electricity supply crisis in Africa, asking what are the key blockages to green investment and how can we resolve them? 

Staff clean the solar array panels at the Karen Blixen Camp in the Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya. Credit: M. Ostergaard - Panos

We are a research consortium based in Ghana, Kenya and the UK looking for the key areas of policy interventions to remove obstacles to investment in renewable technologies.

Once these areas have been identified, we ask how can these initiatives successfully navigate the choppy waters of real-world politics?

Six steps to Green Investment Diagnostics* 

  1. Identify target technologies that are economically and financial viable 
  2. Use economic and social indicators organised in a hierarchical decision-tree framework (see opposite) to make comparative assessment of potential constraints to investment in these technologies.
  3. Identify policy areas which are the most ‘binding’ via a deeper search for diagnostic evidence in areas identified as potentially problematic
  4. Identify most viable policy options in these areas given political economy realities in the country concerned using political economy analysis
  5. Simulate growth and distributional implications of increased investment in RE using Computable General Equilibrium modelling
  6. Model impacts of the integration of intermittent renewable energy generation in the national grid using power systems reliability analysis

Project updates

*Our approach: building on the original "Growth Diagnostics" metholodology

This project draws on the "Growth Diagnostics Approach" developed by Haussmann et al (2004) (PDF) which aimes identify the key constraints holding back economic growth from its full potential. Their approach was driven by the needs of policymakers facing the dilemma that most problems have multiple causes, but governments cannot tackle all of them at once, given limitations in their financial and executive capacity.

Image credit: M. Osertgaard - Panos

Key contact

Photo of Ana Pueyo

T: +44 (0)1273 915681


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Photo of Dirk Willenbockel

T: +44 (0)1273 915700


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Photo of Hubert Schmitz from Green Transformations Cluster


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Stephen Spratt, IDS Research Fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915799


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Green Investment Diagnostics for Africa: What are the Binding Constraints to Investment in Renewables in Kenya and Ghana?

IDS Research Report 83 (2017)
Pueyo, A., Spratt, S., Bawakyillenuo, S. and Hoka O, H.

From Growth to Green Investment Diagnostics

IDS Working Paper 472 (2016)
Spratt, S., Pueyo, A., Bawakyillenuo, S. and Osiolo, H.H.

Cost and Returns of Renewable Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparison of Kenya and Ghana

IDS Evidence Report 190 (2016)
Pueyo, A., Bawakyillenuo, S. and Osiolo, H.

Green Growth Diagnostics for Africa: Literature Review and Scoping Study

IDS Working Paper 455 (2015)
Pueyo, A., Spratt, S., Schmitz, H., Willenbockel, D., Dent, C., Wade, N., Crossland, A.

The Political Economy of Low Carbon Energy in Kenya

IDS Working Paper 445 (2014)
Newell, P., Phillips, J., Pueyo, A., Kirumba, E., Ozor, N. and Urama, K.

Partner organisations

Partner researchers

Andrew Barnett
Ashington Ngigi
Chris Dent
Dickson Khainga
Neal Wade
Simon Bawakyillenuo