Introduction Improving the performance of the electricity sector in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries is a long-standing agenda, going back to the 1990s (Besant-Jones 2006, Jamasb et al 2017, Kessides 2012). At that time, the electricity sectors in most African countries were state-owned and run as parastatals, and were characterised by low levels of access, unreliable service, high energy losses, capacity shortfalls, heavily subsidised pricing structures, poor financial performance of utilities and a lack of resources to improve and extend services.