World Bank gives $311m to African countries

The World Bank has entered into a groundbreaking agreement with four nations in West and Central Africa to finance renewable energy projects worth $311 million.

The funds will support the generation of 106 MW of solar power with battery energy storage systems and the expansion of 41 MW of hydroelectric capacity in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, and Chad. The financing will also cover electricity distribution and transmission interventions.

President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, who presided over the signing ceremony, stated that this agreement marked the start of a revolution in energy supply and access in the participating nations.

West and Central Africa have some of the lowest electrification rates and highest electricity costs in Sub-Saharan Africa, which have been exacerbated by the recent rise in fuel prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The World Bank’s Regional Emergency Solar Power Intervention Project, approved in December, will also allocate funds to the West Africa Power Pool, a regional effort to improve electricity in the sub-region.

The project is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between four countries in a regional energy approach, with the goal of providing universal access to clean and affordable energy by 2030. Boutheina Guermazi, World Bank Director for Regional Integration, stated that the project would take four years to complete.

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