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Columbia Energy Exchange

Universal Access To Reliable Energy: How Much Progress Has Been Made?

Universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy by 2030 has been a goal of the United Nations since 2015. And much progress has been made, as the UN, the World Bank and other international organizations make clear in a new report. But there’s still a long way to go. And the pandemic raging around the world now will only make meeting the goal more difficult.

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks with Makhtar Diop, the vice president for infrastructure at the World Bank. He leads the bank’s efforts to develop sustainable solutions and help close the infrastructure gap in developing and emerging economies.

Makhtar discusses the reasons behind the progress that has been made around the world and the impediments keeping the goal of universal access still out of the reach of so many people, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. The latest challenge, he notes, is the pandemic.

He also explains what the World Bank is doing to alleviate these needs, including new initiatives in the works.

The Tracking SDG-7 Energy Progress Report was released by the UN Statistical Division, the World Bank, the International Energy Agency, the International Renewable Energy Agency and the World Health Organization.

Prior to taking on this current role at the World Bank in 2018, Makhtar was the institution’s vice president for Africa, where he oversaw the delivery of a record-breaking $70 billion to Sub-Saharan Africa to address development challenges, like increasing access to affordable and sustainable energy.

Prior to these and other roles at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Makhtar started his career in the banking sector and held government positions, including minister of economy and finance in his native Senegal.

He holds degrees in economics from the Universities of Warwick and Nottingham in England.

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