May 21, 2024
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World Bank, AfDB to Connect 300 Million Africans to Electricity by 2030

World Bank Group and African Development Bank Group have joined forces in an initiative aimed at providing electricity access to at least 300 million people in Africa by 2030.

Under this collaborative effort, the World Bank Group is committed to connecting 250 million individuals to electricity through distributed renewable energy systems or the distribution grid, while the African Development Bank Group will focus on supporting an additional 50 million people.

Both organizations are rallying to address the pressing issue. Currently, an estimated 600 million Africans lack access to electricity, posing significant obstacles to healthcare, education, productivity, digital inclusion, and job creation.

Energy News Africa quoted Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank Group, emphasizing the pivotal role of electricity access in economic growth and job creation, stressing the need for collective action from governments, multilateral development banks, and private sector investors to achieve their ambitious goal.

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The partnership underscores the World Bank Group’s commitment to becoming more impact-oriented, facilitated by a concerted effort to align regional energy programs towards a common objective. To connect 250 million people, an estimated $30 billion of public sector investment will be required, with a significant contribution from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional arm for low-income countries.

Moreover, governments will need to implement policies to attract private investment and reform utilities for financial viability and efficiency, ensuring tariff mechanisms that safeguard the interests of the impoverished.

Beyond the social impact, connecting 250 million people to electricity presents substantial private sector investment opportunities, particularly in distributed renewable energy, estimated at $9 billion. Additionally, significant prospects exist for private investments in grid-connected renewable energy essential for driving economic growth.

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