AfDB to reach 29.3mn Africans with electricity by 2020

AfDB elecThe AfDB also plans for 10,000MW of solar power systems across the Sahel. (The AfDB)The African Development Bank (AfDB) is planning to provide electricity to 29.3mn people in Africa by 2020

Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, made this disclosure at the event on “New Way of Working: From Vision to Action-National, Regional and Global Dimensions” at the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa. He indicated that it requires a new way to tackle development issues.

The UN agencies signed a commitment to action document at the World Humanitarian Summit in which they agreed on a new way of working in crises.

“The AfDB is today at the forefront of investing in renewable energy in Africa. The share of renewable energy in the bank’s energy portfolio increased from 14 per cent when I became President in 2015 to 100 per cent last year,” Adesina said.

“Our support last year alone provided 3.8mn Africans with access to electricity. With adequate financing, we expect to reach 29.3mn people with access to electricity between 2018 and 2020.”

He further called on the UN Secretary General to join him in supporting the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility to also work differently and step up support to co-pay for climate risk insurance for vulnerable African countries.

The bank has stated that it will support African countries to pay for insuring themselves against catastrophic weather events that displace their public expenditures. It plans to provide US$76mn in 2018 for the payment of insurance premiums, with participating countries providing US$31.5mn and the African Risk Capacity Agency (ARC) providing US$16mn. As per the latest figures, more than 20 countries have indicated interest in participating in the bank-supported initiative.

“We have already started with development of a 50MW solar power system in Burkina Faso,” Adesina said. “The initiative will protect the Great Green Wall of trees established to protect against desertification in the Sahelian zone, from being cut down by energy-poor households for use as fuel wood. When completed, we expect this to be the largest solar power system zone in the world.”

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