10 August 2014, Addis Ababa – The World Bank has committed five billion dollars for energy projects in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania. The commitment is to support President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, which aims to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.
World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, said in a statement that the World Bank thinks that “the US Power Africa initiative will play an extremely important role in achieving the goal of providing electricity for Africa.” He said the funds would be provided in direct financing, investment guarantees, and advisory services for project preparation in Power Africa’s six initial partner countries. He said the World Bank and the US Government would also be working together to meet the target of generating 10,000 megawatts of new power in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to World Bank figures, approximately 24% of sub-Saharan Africa’s population has access to electricity as opposed to 40% in other low income countries.
World Bank Vice-President, Makhtar Diop, said the investment into energy had to go beyond building power stations and grids. Power must be connected to the market ” which calls for regional cooperation to build the transmission network.”
So the World Bank is working with African leaders and their development partners to create power pools in Africa’s East, West, Central, and Southern sub-regions. “Those countries with abundant geothermal, gas, hydro, solar, and wind resources can feed their excess power supply into a common pool, and neighboring states with less energy and generation capacity can benefit from this integrated approach to delivering electricity to their people.”
– Addis Standard