Friday, May 24, 2024

Major electrification initiative set to power development across Africa by 2030


The World Bank Group and the African Development Bank Group have announced a partnership aimed at providing electricity access to at least 300 million people in Africa by the year 2030. This ambitious project seeks to address one of the continent’s most critical development challenges: the significant lack of access to electricity. 

The initiative plans to deploy a mix of distributed renewable energy systems and traditional distribution grids. The World Bank Group is set to connect 250 million people, while the African Development Bank Group will focus on extending electricity to an additional 50 million. This effort is crucial as currently, an estimated 600 million Africans do not have access to reliable electricity, impacting their health, education, and economic opportunities. 

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Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank Group, emphasized the foundational role of electricity in development and economic growth. “Electricity access is the bedrock of all development. It is a critical ingredient for economic growth and essential for job creation at scale,” Banga stated. He highlighted that achieving such an ambitious goal would require robust partnerships and significant policy action from governments, alongside substantial financing from multilateral development banks and the private sector. 

The partnership reflects a strategic pivot towards a more impact-oriented approach by the World Bank Group, supported by a series of regional energy programs aimed at aligning resources towards this unified goal. The initiative is not only a testament to the commitment of these institutions to power development in Africa but also sets a new standard for international cooperation in tackling global energy challenges. 

To connect 250 million people, the project will need an estimated $30 billion in public sector investment. Critical to this investment will be the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional arm that supports the world’s poorest countries. Additionally, the successful implementation of this massive electrification effort will require African governments to enact policies that attract private investment and reform utilities to make them more financially sustainable and efficient. 

This electrification push is expected to unlock substantial private sector investment opportunities, estimated at $9 billion in distributed renewable energy alone. Furthermore, there will be significant opportunities for private investments in grid-connected renewable energy, which are essential for powering economic growth across the continent. 

This partnership between the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank Group marks a significant step forward in ensuring that access to electricity—a fundamental human right—becomes a reality for millions of Africans, paving the way for enhanced healthcare, education, and economic development across the continent. 

Solomon Irungu
Solomon Irungu
Solomon Irungu is a Communication Expert working with Impact Africa Consulting Ltd supporting organizations across Africa in sustainability advisory. He is also the managing editor of Africa Sustainability Matters and is deeply passionate about sustainability news. He can be contacted via

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