AfDB strikes deal for Africa solar energy
Thandiwe Katinhimure, Business Reporter
THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has struck a partnership deal with International Solar Alliance (ISA) to scale up solar energy development in Africa.
The agreement was sealed on the margins of the founding conference of the ISA held in New Delhi, India on Sunday co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and President Emmanuel Macron of France, AfDB said in a statement.
“As part of the new agreement, ISA will support the AfDB to power solar initiative through which the Bank intends to turn Africa’s deserts into new sources of energy,” the bank said.
The partnership would provide technical assistance and knowledge transfer for solar development and deployment in sunshine-rich African countries.
Both parties will also develop finance instruments for off-grid solar projects, as well as large scale solar independent power producers for African ISA member countries, it said.
“Working with partners to develop 10 000 megawatts of solar power systems across the Sahel, the initiative is expected to provide electricity to 250 million people, with 90 million of these being on off-grid systems,” it said.
According to AfDB, Prime Minister Modi highlighted the need to ensure that better and affordable solar technology is available and accessible to everyone.
“The joint declaration recognises the bank’s new deal on energy for Africa, its energy policy and its leadership in working with governments, the private sector, bilateral and multilateral energy sector initiatives to develop a transformative partnership on energy for Africa,” said AfDB.
The declaration lays out areas of cooperation between ISA and the AfDB, including developing innovative financial instruments to reduce risks and costs associated with solar investments and to leverage climate financing and commercial co-financing and mobilising concessional financing through the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) and other bank hosted funds, it said.