Home West Africa Burkina Faso Three countries to receive US $50m boost in energy expansion projects

Three countries to receive US $50m boost in energy expansion projects

300 solar charging stations to be constructed in Malawi

Burkina Faso, Liberia and Mozambique are set to receive US $50m from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) for their energy expansion projects.

Following the success of Sweden’s investment in small-scale energy services in Zambia, the project expansion will give between  five and 15 million people in rural and slum areas access to electricity.

“Electricity is a prerequisite for people to lift themselves out of poverty. By leapfrogging the national electricity grid and promoting innovative off-grid solutions, we make it easier to study after dark, charge mobile phones and computers, and keep food chilled,” said Carin Jämtin, Director General of Sida.

“Through solar home systems or micro grids for villages, millions of people can get access to electricity that otherwise would have been left unconnected in the foreseeable future,” Carin added.

Also Read:Malawi launches 20 MW solar tender

Expansion projects

The expansion projects will be under the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA), a programme that extends over five years, US $10m per year, a total of US $50m. The BGFA contracts will cover some of the costs for the implementation of the services while the rest of the investments will come from external investors.

Electricity has for a long time remained Africa’s top challenge as far as development and poverty eradication is concerned. Over 60% of Africa’s population is yet to be connected with electricity. The rural areas have been hit hard, recording less than 10% electrification rate.

The total value of the extended energy access is estimated at US $400m. According to Anders Arvidson, project leader at Sida, the BGFZ programme, which is now halfway, has electrified 450,000 new homes out of the total projection of 1 million homes. This is twice as many as planned. By 2021, 1.6 million Zambians are expected to have accessed affordable electricity under the initiative.

 

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