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Addressing the pressing issue of energy poverty in Africa, the World Bank has announced an ambitious plan to connect over 250 million Africans to the electricity grid by 2030. This marks a significant increase from its initial target of 100 million, reflecting the severity of the challenge at hand.

World Bank President Ajay Banga revealed this heightened commitment during an event at the Bank’s headquarters in Washington, emphasizing the urgent need to confront the stark reality that currently, an estimated 600 million people in Africa lack access to affordable and reliable electricity.

To achieve this ambitious goal, the World Bank estimates that a substantial investment of $30 billion in public sector funds will be required. Last year, the Bank allocated $5 billion to kick-start the initiative, but there remains a funding gap of $25 billion.

In an effort to bridge this deficit, the World Bank intends to secure an additional $15 billion through its concessional lending arm, the International Development Association (IDA), leaving $10 billion to be sourced from other public funds, according to a spokesperson speaking to AFP.

Banga emphasized the critical importance of this endeavor, stressing that millions of Africans currently live without access to any power, a situation he deemed unacceptable in the year 2024.

“Getting electricity to people is mission one, two, and three,” Banga asserted, highlighting the central role of energy access in driving economic development and improving livelihoods across the continent.

In addition to the World Bank’s efforts, the African Development Bank has pledged to connect an additional 50 million people to the grid by the end of the decade, signaling a coordinated push to accelerate progress towards universal electrification in Africa.

Banga expressed optimism about the potential impact of these combined efforts, stating, “If we can reach 300 out of 600 by 2030, that’s great stuff. That’s the kind of commitment we need to make.”

As the World Bank embarks on this transformative journey, Banga emphasized the need for concerted efforts from all parts of the institution, stressing the collective responsibility to deliver tangible change and empower millions of Africans through access to electricity.

photo source: Google

By: Montel Kamau

Serrari Financial Analyst

18th April, 2024

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