300m Africans To Gain Power Through World Bank, AfDB Effort

The World Bank Group and the African Development Bank Group have joined forces to ensure that at least 300 million people across Africa gain access to electricity by the year 2030.

This information comes from a statement released by the World Bank Online Media Centre, which was shared with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday.

As stated in the release, the WBG’s objective is to connect 250 million people to electricity, utilizing either distributed renewable energy systems or the distribution grid.

The statement highlighted that the AfDB Group, for its part, will provide assistance to an additional 50 million individuals.

“Access to electricity is a fundamental human right and is foundational to any successful development effort.

“Currently, 600 million Africans lack access to electricity, creating significant barriers to health care, education, productivity, digital inclusivity, and ultimately job creation,” the statement read.

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It added that the partnership was a demonstration of the determination of the WBG and the AfDB Group to be bolder, bigger and better in tackling one of the most pressing challenges in Africa.

The statement read further that “the initiative is the most recent manifestation of the WBG’s commitment to become more impact-oriented and is the by-product of a concerted work plan to build a better bank.

“It is aided by a constellation of regional energy programmes that will now be aligned toward this common goal.”

The statement quoted the WBG’s President, Ajay Banga, as saying that “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.”

It said for the WBG to connect 250m people, $30 billion of public sector investment will be needed, of which the International Development Association – the World Bank’s concessional arm for low-income countries, would be critical.

The statement said in addition, governments would need to put in place policies to attract private investments and reform their utilities so they are financially sound and efficient with tariff mechanisms that protect the poor.

“Connecting 250 million people to electricity would open private sector investment opportunities in distributed renewable energy alone worth $9bn.

“Beyond that, there would be substantial opportunities for private investments in grid-connected renewable energy needed to power economies for growth,” the statement noted.

Africa Today News, New York 

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