WB, AfDB partner to connect 300 million to electricity by 2030 World Bank

Business Writer

THE World Bank Group and the African Development Bank Group have partnered in an ambitious effort to provide at least 300 million people in Africa electricity access by 2030.

Under the joint efforts, the World Bank Group has pledged to push power connection to 250 million people through distributed renewable energy systems or the distribution grid while the African Development Bank Group would support an additional 50 million people.

Access to electricity is foundational to any successful development effort. 

Studies already suggest that about 600 million Africans lack access to electricity, creating significant barriers to health care, education, productivity, digital inclusivity and ultimately job creation.

“Electricity access is the bedrock of all development. It is a critical ingredient for economic growth and essential for job creation at scale. 

“Our aspiration will only be realised with partnership and ambition. We will need policy action from governments, financing from multilateral development banks and private sector investment to see this through,” said Ajay Banga, World Bank Group president in a latest media update this week. 

According to the two giant financial institutions, this partnership is a demonstration of the determination to be bolder, bigger and better in tackling one of the most pressing challenges in Africa. 

The initiative is the most recent manifestation of the World Bank Group’s commitment to become more impact-oriented and is the by-product of a concerted work plan to build a better bank. 

The programme is aided by a constellation of regional energy programmes that will now be aligned toward this common goal, reads the joint statement from the two entities. 

“For the World Bank Group to connect 250 million people, US$30 billion of public sector investment will be needed, of which IDA, the World Bank’s concessional arm for low-income countries, will be critical.

USD: Image taken from Shutterstock

“In addition, governments will need to put in place policies to attract private investment and reform their utilities so they are financially sound and efficient with tariff mechanisms that protect the poor,” reads the statement. 

Connecting 250 million people to electricity is expected to open private sector investment opportunities in distributed renewable energy alone worth US$9 billion. Beyond that, there would be substantial opportunities for private investments in grid-connected renewable energy needed to power economies for growth.


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