The World Bank has approved a USD 22.7 Mn funding package to end Mali’s electricity woes by boosting the country’s renewable energy drive.
Mali’s efforts to improve access to modern services and promote the deployment of renewable energy in rural areas is about to receive a major boost. The World Bank has just announced a USD 22.7 Mn financing package to support the country’s renewable energy drive.
The financing package consists of a USD 20 Mn equivalent credit from the International Development Association (IDA) and a USD 2.7 Mn grant from the Japan Policy and Human Resources Development Fund. This comes in as additional financing to the Mali Rural Electrification Hybrid System Project, which was approved by the Board in December 2013.
The project as a whole (original and additional financing) is expected to serve approximately 760.000 people, including households, businesses, and community service facilities that are connected to the mini-grids, and the consumers that have access to electricity through solar home systems and portable solar lanterns.
The IDA credit comes as a boost to the original project. The grant will also be put to use in a number of ways including the installation of solar home systems in households located out of reach mini-grids, the deployment of solar lanterns, and the delivery of communication and awareness-raising campaigns in targeted areas.
The grant is provided as part of Japan’s technical assistance program to increase the delivery of off-grid electricity and other energy services in rural areas in African Countries, especially those troubled by conflict.
The latest financing is expected to complement similar commitments of the World Bank Group and the government of Mali aimed at creating the enabling conditions for the upheaval of the country’s electricity sector and accelerating the shift towards low-cost electricity supply in both urban and rural areas.
Founded in 1960, the International Development Association (IDA) is focused on assisting the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (known as “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost inclusive economic growth and reduce poverty.
IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA are believed to bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than USD 2.00 a day.
Since inception, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily, averaging about USD 15 Bn over the last three years, with nearly half of such commitments going to African countries.
Featured Image Courtesy: medafricatimes.com
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