Burkina Faso: World Bank to bring electricity to urban, rural areas

World Bank hq03 August 2013, Washington – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$50 million International Development Association, IDA, credit to support Burkina Faso’s efforts to improvethe reliability electricity supply, increase access to electricity in the country’s fast-growing cities, and spread the use of renewable energy sources in certain rural areas.

“Burkina Faso has made steady strides in developing its electricity capacity and connecting people in cities and rural areas to power,” said Mercy Miyang Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Burkina Faso. “We are happy to continue supporting the government’s efforts to improve its energy security, so that poor people can have increased access to education and jobs, and benefit more from economic growth.”

The credit will fund the Electricity Sector Support Project and support the government’s key Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Sustainable Development for 2011-2015. The Electricity Sector Support Project includes the construction of two turnkey power stations of at least 7.5 MW each in FadaN’gourma and Ouahigouya, two remote cities in Burkina Faso with fast-growing economic development.

“With a 14 percent electrification rate and an electricity demand increasing at a rate close to 10% per year, it is necessary for Burkina Faso to complements longer term WAPP regional programmes, by providing generation and securing energy supply in two cities with fast growing economic development and by increasing access in rural areas.

“The scale-up of energy connections and the construction of new power plants will enhance the security and reliability of electricity supply, improve the country’s overall economic growth and add to the everyday quality of life for thousands of people,” Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director of Sustainable Development for the Africa Region, said.

The funds will also support the expansion of the electric grid and the installation of power connections for about 40 communities through existing and new transmission lines.

Additionally, the project will finance investments aimed at promoting rational and efficient use of energy and energy studies to develop its hydropower potential.The project will also support the purchase and distribution of around twenty five thousand (25,000) lanterns for public schools in off-grid communities in the context of the Lighting Africa programme.

Moreover, the project includessteps to strengthen the institutional and capacity development of the Société Nationale d’Electricité du Burkina (the country’s National Power Utility), the Fonds de Développement de l’Electrification (Rural Electrification Agency) and the Direction générale de l’énergie (General Directorate of Energy).

“Today’s funds will directly link households, schools, clinics, local administration facilities and recreational centers in these areasto a more reliable power source, some for the first time,” said Fatouma Toure Ibrahima, World Bank Task Team Leader for the project.

The IDA was established in 1960, and helps the world’s poorest countries by providing zero-interest financing and grants for projects and programmes that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa.
Resources from IDA bring positive change for 1.8 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Between 2003 and 2013, IDA provided $256 billion in financing for 3,787 projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, benefiting on average, 36 African countries a year.

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