The World Bank has approved $224.7 million in financing for electrification projects in 19 African countries. The countries to benefit from the funding are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Chad, and Togo.
The World Bank funding comes in the form of a credit and grant totalling $150 million for the regional off-grid electrification project (ROGEP). An additional $74.7 million has also been allocated in the form of a grant to the ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) to expand the deployment of solar home solutions in the West African region.
The goal of ROGEP is to improve people's access to energy through the harmonized deployment of solar home systems in the region. About 1.7 million people are expected to have access to energy under this project.
"So far, only 3 percent of households in West Africa and the Sahel are using solar home installations while 208 million people still do not have access to electricity in the region. This project will assist policymakers in lowering barriers to enable the creation of a regional market for this type of essential equipment for reducing energy poverty in the region, "said Rachid Benmessaoud, Director of Coordination for regional integration in West Africa at the World Bank.