“Power to the Desert”, AfDB mobilizes its partners to enlighten the Sahel

"Power to the Desert", AfDB mobilizes its partners to enlighten the Sahel

Launched in 2019 by Groupe de Laval Bank African development (AfDB) and its partners “Desert to Power” initiative aims to make Africa a renewable energy powerhouse.

Sharm El Sheikh, 13 November. An African initiative aimed at increasing solar generation capacity for socio-economic development purposes, thereby providing electricity to 250 million people, is attracting financial support from around the world.

Launched in 2019 by Groupe de Laval Bank African development and its partners “Desert to Power” initiative aims to make Africa a renewable energy hub.

11 countries will benefit from the lights

11 countries where 64% of people live without electricity will generate 10 GW of solar power by 2030 to “power from the desert” – with implications for education, health and business.

Senegal, Nigeria, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea will benefit.

During an event organized as part of the 27th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh on November 11, its Executive Director for Africa Joseph represented. Nganga announced the allocation of $35 million to the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) under this initiative.

SEFA is a specialized multi-donor fund created to provide catalyst funding to unlock private sector investment in renewable energy.

Norway’s Minister for International Development, Anne Pete Tvinnerim, announced her government’s 300 million Norwegian kroner (about $29 million) in support of SEFA.

Facilitating private sector investment in the Sahel

Ministers, development partners and private sector representatives attended the event organized by the AfDB under the Africa Pavilion of COP27 under the theme “Desert to Power – Transforming the Sahel from Fragility to Resilience and Prosperity”. Investing in the Sahel.

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The event was an opportunity to present the “Desert to Power” project in detail to potential partners and mobilize investors to implement it.

Addressing an audience including ministers from the Sahel region, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina highlighted the importance of electricity to ensure security and reduce poverty.

“Desert to Power”, a $20 billion investment

“Desert to Power” is a $20 billion initiative that aims to generate 10,000 megawatts of solar power. It will be the largest solar system in the world and we want to make it a real economic activity […] It will create productive potential for the Sahel countries,” said Mr. Adesina said.

AfDB No 1 said it has multiple fronts including utility-scale solar power generation, decentralized energy solutions, transmission and distribution, utility reform and an efficient policy and regulatory environment to protect investments.

He said the project would make a significant contribution to climate action, creating a giant green wall against desertification and other impacts of climate change.

Akinwumi Adenisa also referred to the $1 billion G5 Sahel financing facility approved by the bank’s board of directors earlier this year, which has $150 million in concessional resources from the Green Climate Fund. .

The Bank Chairman thanked the Heads of State and Ministers of the various host countries for supporting the initiative.

Norwegian Minister for International Development Mrs. Twinerim underlined the role of renewable energy in sustainable development: “We need to ensure access to renewable energy and avoid old fossil emissions. To deal with the crisis in the region, the goodwill of the regional governments is needed. We also need sustainable access to renewable energies and the “Energy from the Desert” project developed by the African Development Bank answers these important questions. »

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Mohammed Basoom from Niger lends his support

Niger President Mohamed Bassoum intervened via video link and reiterated his government’s support for the project. The Ministers of Energy of Mauritania and Niger, as well as high-level representatives of the main partners of “Desert to Power” – Power Africa, the Swedish International Development Agency, the European Commission, the International Agency for Renewable Energies, the Green Climate Fund, ACWA Power and the Moroccan Renewable Energy Agency (MASEN) are also present. Reaffirmed support.

Mr Nganga of the Global Energy Alliance said the alliance would support de-risking investments in the desert and innovative solutions for power infrastructure.

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