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World Bank – AfDB : Electricity for 300 million Africans by 2030

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World Bank – AfDB : Electricity for 300 million Africans by 2030

A new banking partnership aims to provide access to electricity for at least 300 million Africans by 2030 through distributed renewable energy plants or grid-connected facilities. The World Bank has unveiled an ambitious initiative to deliver affordable electricity to 250 million people in Africa by 2030. Collaborating closely, the African Development Bank will contribute to this effort by extending electricity access to an additional 50 million people.

Facilitating access to electricity in Africa

World Bank President Ajay Banga unveiled the 300 million target on April 17, 2024, during an event at the institution’s Washington headquarters held as part of the Spring Meetings. This represents a significant advancement from Banga’s earlier commitment, announced in December 2023, to allocate 5 billion USD towards connecting 100 million people in Africa to electricity by the decade’s end.

Under this initiative, all new electricity production will be sourced from renewable energy outlets like solar photovoltaics, hydroelectricity, and wind power. The World Bank aims to assist countries still reliant on fossil fuels in transitioning to greener power generation methods.

Ajay Banga noted that the comprehensive plan will require up to 35 billion USD in investment, with a portion of the funding sourced from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s concessional arm for low-income countries.

250 million people to benefit from World Bank financing

The collaboration between the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank (AfDB) holds the potential to halve the number of Africans living without electricity. According to a press release from the partners, approximately 600 million Africans currently lack access to electricity.

As part of this joint effort, the World Bank aims to connect 250 million people to electricity. This ambitious initiative necessitates an estimated 30 billion USD in public sector investment. Additionally, experts predict that the plan will unlock private sector investment opportunities worth 9 billion USD, particularly in the realm of distributed renewable energies.

50 million more people through AfDB funding

Access to electricity serves as the cornerstone for all development endeavors. To realize this goal, the African Development Bank (AfDB) emphasizes the need for political action from governments, financial support from multilateral development banks, and investment from the private sector.

At the World Bank and International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings in Washington, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina underscored the significance of electricity access, stating, « No economy can industrialize in the dark, and no economy can compete in the dark ».

Ajay Banga, elaborating on this sentiment, highlighted that a substantial portion of the commitments to replenish the International Development Association (IDA) this year will be directed towards revitalizing Africa. He stressed the importance of private sector involvement in the initiative, noting that the World Bank will provide increased guarantees to incentivize private sector engagement. Specifically, these guarantees aim to spur investment in green energy projects across Africa.

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