The political economy of electricity access in Mozambique

Daniela Salite, Matthew Cotton, Joshua Kirshner

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


A political-economic analysis of electricity grid access histories and futures in Mozambique (POLARIZE) addresses the problem of electricity access in the context of grid extension, renewables development and new fossil fuels in Mozambique. We address the issue of political economy through an historical institutionalist perspective - exploring how past institutional frameworks and norms influence current decisions. Mozambique’s past history through colonial development, civil war and democratic reconstruction are reflected in the energy system that exists today. When we think about and plan for future development, current decisions are influenced by historical context - we call this path dependency. Changes to energy systems occur at critical junctures - situations of uncertainty in which the decisions of important actors result in the selection of one path of institutional and socio-technical system development over other possible paths, and hence shapes energy futures. Our project aims to see how this combination of past, present and future plays out in Mozambique’s energy system.

Our project uses a combination of key stakeholder interviewing and local citizen/user perspectives, as well as ‘backcasting’ to better understand these dynamics. Backcasting is a participatory decision-support process whereby desirable energy futures are planned for based upon an understanding of political and socio-technical system dynamics over time.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventThe Political Economy of Renewable Energy Development in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia - Webinar hosted by the Policy Practice and the Energy and Economic Growth Applied Research Programme, Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Jul 202015 Jul 2020


WorkshopThe Political Economy of Renewable Energy Development in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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