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World Bank, AfDB Join Forces to Connect 300m Africans to Electricity by 2030

Currently, 600 million Africans lack access to electricity, creating significant barriers to health care, education, productivity, digital inclusivity, and ultimately job creation

A new partnership between the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank (AfDB) aims to connect 300 million Africans to electricity by 2030.

The World Bank Group says it will work to connect 250 million people to electricity through distributed renewable energy systems or the distribution grid while the African Development Bank Group will support an additional 50 million people.

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 realized with partnership and ambition. We will need policy action from governments, financing from multilateral development banks, and private sector investment to see this through,” World Bank Group President, Ajay Banga is quoted to have said in a statement on Wednesday.

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

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Both institutions say that as access to electricity is a fundamental human right it should remain foundational to any successful development effort.

In order to connect 250 million people, the World Bank says it will need $30 billion of public sector investment, of which IDA, the World Bank’s concessional arm for low-income countries, will be critical. Governments in addition will need to put in place policies to attract private investment and reform their utilities sectors.

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“Connecting 250 million people to electricity would open private sector investment opportunities in distributed renewable energy alone worth $9 billion. Beyond that, there would be substantial opportunities for private investments in grid-connected renewable energy needed to power economies for growth,” the statement said.

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