World Bank gives $200 million to Ghana and 18 other countries to boost power supply

The Board of the World Bank Group has approved the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) for 19 countries to increase electricity access of households.

The World Bank Group has approved the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) for 19 countries

The countries include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The project includes $150 million in the form of credit and grant from the International Development Association (IDA) and $74.7 million contingent recovery grant from the Clean Technology Fund.

This is to help the West African Development Bank and ECOWAS’ Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency expand off-grid access to electricity for populations in 19 countries in West Africa and the Sahel region.

ROGEP’s main objective is to increase electricity access of households, businesses, and public institutions using modern stand-alone solar systems through a harmonized regional approach.

The project is expected to benefit about 1.7 million people currently living without electricity connection or with unreliable supply.

Coordinating Director for Regional Integration in West Africa, Rachid Benmessaoud, said “So far, only 3 percent of households in West Africa and the Sahel are served by stand-alone solar home systems, and 208 million people in the sub-region do not have access to electricity. The project seeks to assist regional policymakers to address barriers to create a regional market for stand-alone solar systems, which is essential to reduce energy poverty in the region, and entrepreneurs to take opportunities in this market through the development of scalable business solutions.”

“The new project will help adopt regional standards and regulations to establish a regional market with harmonized policies that will attract larger market players for the benefit of all participating countries,” he added.

Stand-alone solar systems have large market potential in West Africa and the Sahel. However, the investments in off-grid renewable energy have been less than expected in the sub-region.

The new project is aligned with the World Bank Group’s twin goals of poverty reduction and shared prosperity and the Africa Climate Business Plan. Furthermore, it will implement a pilot to test business models to electrify schools and health clinics critical for the Human Capital Project in West Africa.

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