World Bank, AfDB seeks to provide more Africans with electricity by 2030

18th April 2024 By: Sabrina Jardim - Creamer Media Online Writer

The World Bank Group and the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group are partnering to provide at least 300-million people in Africa with electricity access by 2030. 

The World Bank Group will work to connect 250-million people to electricity through distributed renewable energy systems or the distribution grid, while the AfDB will support electricity connections for a further 50-million people. 

An estimated 600-million Africans lack access to electricity, creating significant barriers to healthcare, education, productivity, digital inclusivity and, ultimately, job creation. 

"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 realised with partnership and ambition.

“We will need policy action from governments, financing from multilateral development banks, and private sector investment to see this through," says World Bank Group president Ajay Banga. 

The initiative is the most recent manifestation of the World Bank Group’s commitment to become more impact-oriented and is the byproduct of a concerted workplan to build a better bank.

It is aided by a constellation of regional energy programmes that will now be aligned toward this common goal. 

For the World Bank Group to connect 250-million people, it says $30-billion of public sector investment will be needed, of which the International Development Association, the World Bank’s concessional arm for low-income countries, will be critical.

Additionally, it posits that governments will need to put in place policies to attract private investment and reform their utilities so they are financially sound and efficient, with tariff mechanisms that protect the poor.  

“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 World Bank says.