Environment and Resources

Project: Evaluation of Grid Densification in Maputo Province, Mozambique

Project Duration

05/2008 - 12/2011 (finalized)

Commissioned by

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Project Team (RWI)

Dr. Gunther Bensch (Chief), Prof. Dr. Jörg Peters


Universidade Pedagógica (UP), Maputo and Economics Faculty of Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo

Leader of Consortium



Electrification rates in urban areas of Sub-Saharan countries are generally relatively high. Nevertheless, there are still many households that do not have access to electricity services and that have to resort to kerosene for lighting, woodfuels for cooking and dry cell batteries for running radios, for example. In order to support these segments of the urban population in overcoming their energy poverty, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit implemented a grid densification project in Mozambique between 2008 and 2010, under the umbrella of the Dutch-German development partnership “Energising Development”. Targeted grid connection subsidies have been provided to “late connectors”, which are households that live in vicinity to the electricity distribution grid and that lack access to the grid. In total the project reached almost 23,000 households. The present study focuses on the impacts the GIZ project potentially has on people’s living conditions, for example on lighting and TV usage or educational indicators. RWI conducted two large representative surveys for this project – in June 2008 510 households have been interviewed and in June 2011 551 households. According to the regional project focus, the surveys were primarily run in Matola, Mozambique’s second-largest city. 295 households were interviewed both in 2008 and 2011, so that a difference-in-difference approach can be applied to assess the project’s impacts. In addition, in 2011 complementary cross-sectional approaches were applied, because, first, additional regions have been covered by the project in the meantime and, second, an additional non-electrified comparison group was to be included in the research design. A particular spotlight of the study is on television usage and its impacts on people’s attitudes and behavior. Here, the so-called “Telenovelas” play a central role. These soap operas, mostly coming from Brazil, are very popular in urban Mozambique. One might expect on the one hand that the availability of TV discourages people from other, maybe more productive activities. On the other hand, also such entertainment programs might convey certain messages potentially affecting health relevant behavior or gender role models.

Selected project related publications

RWI Reports


RWI (2012), Impact Report on the AMES-M project Grid Densification in Maputo Province. RWI Projektberichte