Burkina Faso to receive US$450m towards power sector improvement

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The government of the Republic of Burkina Faso has signed a new US$450M compact agreement with the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) for the improvement of the West African Country power sector so as to broaden and sustain the country’s economic growth.

According to Sean Cairncross, the CEO of MCC, this agreement is as a result of the success of the first compact agreement that closed in 2014, and which invested US$ 480M in projects in the agriculture, land tenure, water management, roads, and girls’ education sectors.

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“This new compact will address power sector improvement by looking at the high cost, poor quality, and poor access to electricity in Burkina Faso and also support the country’s increased participation in regional power markets and the development of a potential MCC regional investment,” noted the CEO.

In addition to the US$ 450M that MCC has pledged, the Government of Burkina Faso is also set to commit an investment of US$ 50M from its pockets towards this project.

Targeted areas

With this project, the government of Burkina Faso aims to address three key areas in the power sector improvement. The first area will be the development of a cost-effective and reliable electricity supply. This will be achieved by supporting new solar power projects, introducing battery storage systems, and making improvements to electricity dispatch centers.

The second area i.e the grid development and access project aim to increase electricity accessibility and reduce power outages through the extension of the electricity network and updating the transmission and distribution network respectively.

The third and the last targeted area in this project is the strengthening of electricity sector effectiveness. This project mainly aims to improve and strengthen the legal, regulatory, and institutional framework of the electricity sector by investing in priority reforms and capacity-building for key actors, including the national utility, regulator, and Ministry of Energy.

It is expected to result in improvements in the quality and supply of electricity, which will translate into improved operational efficiency, cost reduction, improved service, and increased investment by the private sector.