AfDB hunts for 160gw of new electricity capacity for Africa in 8yrs

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is hoping that African countries would leverage its new initiative – ‘New Deal on Energy for Africa’, to add 160 gigawatts (160,000mw) of new electricity to their generating capacities by 2025.

It said it would raise capital worth $62 billion from its pool and private/public sources in the next five years to finance this.

According to it, the aspirational goal of this priority area would be to help the continent achieve universal electricity access by 2025 with a strong focus on encouraging clean and renewable energy solutions.

Its ‘New Deal’ strategy focuses on setting up an enabling policy environment, transforming utility companies for success, dramatically increasing the number of bankable energy projects, increasing the funding pool to deliver new projects, supporting ‘bottom of the pyramid’ energy access programs, particularly for women, accelerating major regional projects to drive integration and rolling out waves of country-wide energy ‘transformations’.

But speaking recently to heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited to the Côte d’Ivoire in Abidjan, AfDB’s President, Akinwumi Adesina said the bank was still focused on helping Africa get more electricity for her development.

Adesina said: “Lighting up and powering Africa is the first and biggest of the Bank’s High 5s. This is because power allows everything, and the lack of power can prevent everything. Taking people out of darkness brings hope, security and economic opportunities while increasing resilience.”

He stated that Kenya’s development of the Menengai geothermal project which AfDB supported with about $503 million, would generate 400mw of reliable, clean and affordable electricity to thousands of her households and industries.

He said these were the kind of lives changing stories the Bank looked forward to receiving on its works in the continent.

“The power of these words are that these are the ordinary and mundane things that so many of us take for granted. I want these simple words to give us all the desire to keep going with the High 5s.

“The Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, and the Transformative Partnership on Energy that accompanies it, aim to achieve universal access to energy in Africa by 2025 by generating 160 gigawatts of new energy capacity.

“We will invest US $12 billion in energy in the next five years, and to add US $50 billion from private and public sources over the same period.

“All this and more is why the Bank made electricity and power generation the cornerstone of its High 5s strategy: We must light up and power Africa,” Adesina stated.