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Energy is the key to all socio-economic development: an essential resource in agriculture and food processing, as well as in higher-value added services and industries. Without energy you cannot improve social services, empower women, or combat climate change. With 590 million people without access to electricity at the end of 2016, Sub-Saharan Africa has a particular need in this field. This paper gives an overview of market needs, EIB’s activities in the area, and proposed future steps to improve the situation.