World Bank $5bn for Africa power

Installing solar panels in Lesotho, southern Africa

Installing solar panels in Lesotho, southern Africa

The World Bank has pledged $5bn of funding to support electricity projects in six African countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.

In partnership with US president Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative, the bank will provide direct finance, investment guarantees and advice.

“The US government and World Bank are now working on specific tasks and milestones which could help to achieve one quarter of Power Africa’s goal of generating 10GW of new power in Sub Saharan Africa,” says World Bank president Jim Yong Kim.

He says the intervention was key to generating more electricity for Africans, 600 million of whom have no access to electricity despite the continent being the host to some of the world’s largest wind, solar, hydropower, and geothermal potential, as well as significant oil and gas reserves.

“We think the US Power Africa initiative will play an extremely important role in achieving the goal of providing electricity for Africa,” he says.

“Like Europe and the rest of the world, Africa deserves the same opportunity to exploit green source of power to improve the lives and economic prospects of its people,” says World Bank vice president for Africa Makhtar Diop.

“Beyond building up power generators, they must be connected to the market, which calls for regional cooperation to build the transmission network.

“We are working with African leaders and their development partners to create power pools in Africa’s east, west, central, and southern sub-regions.

“Those countries with abundant geothermal, gas, hydro, solar, and wind resources can feed their excess power supply into a common pool, while neighbouring states with less energy and generation capacity can benefit from this integrated approach to delivering electricity to their people.”

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