The reform of energy subsidies is an important but challenging issue for sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. There is a relatively large theoretical and empirical literature on this issue. While this paper by the African Department at the IMF relies on that literature, too, it tailors its discussion to SSA countries to respond to the following questions: Why it is important to reduce energy subsidies? What are the difficulties involved in energy subsidy reform? How best can a subsidy reform be implemented? This paper uses various sources of information on SSA countries: quantitative assessments, surveys, and individual (but standardized) case studies.

Energy Subsidy Reform in Sub-Saharan Africa: Experiences and Lessons