World Bank Lays Out $311 Million Renewables Fund for Four African Countries

The World Bank signed $311 million worth agreements for renewable energy with three West African nations Sierra Leone, Liberia and Togo and the Central African nation Chad. The World Bank funds are expected to finance around 106 MW of solar power generation capacity with battery energy and storage systems, and 41 MW hydroelectric capacity. The funds will support electricity distribution and transmission interventions.

Sierra Leone President Maada Bio said the agreements would mark the beginning of a “revolution in energy supply and access in the respective countries”.

West and Central Africa has one of the lowest electrification rates in Sub-Saharan Africa, in addition to some of the highest electricity costs. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have further increased costs because of soaring fuel prices.

“We are paying far more for energy now than we were 18 months ago. Very high and rising energy prices continue to have an adverse impact on other sectors of our economies,” Maada Bio said.

The West Africa Power Pool, a regional approach to improve electricity in the sub-region, will also receive some funds that approved in December under a new World Bank Regional Emergency Solar Power Intervention Project.

World Bank Director for Regional Integration Guermazi said the project was the first time four countries had been brought together for a regional energy approach.

“It is a continental approach to make sure that we reach universal access to clean affordable energy by 2030,” Guermazi said, adding that the project would be completed in four years.

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