The new African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, said he’s aiming to eliminate Africa’s energy deficit by mobilizing $55 billion of investment by 2025.
Termed the “New Deal for Energy in Africa,” the continent’s largest development bank said the plan will significantly raise its support for energy projects and that its partners should also scale up efforts.
The proposal also called for African countries to increase financing for the development of the energy industry because a lot of financing is needed as there is need to close the $55 billion financing gap for energy in sub-Saharan Africa.
The deal is the first initiative of the bank in the new president’s role. The bank spent $2 billion on energy projects in 2014, with $650 million in power generation. Over 80 percent of the generation projects were renewable energy.
About 620 million people in sub-Saharan Africa don’t have access to electricity, according to data from the International Energy Agency. Demand for energy is soaring, with a 45 percent jump between 2000 and 2012, according to the IEA.
Renewables will have a very big role to play in Africa and the introduction will lead to a transformation of the electricity sector.
Leaders and stakeholders are calling for the development of major regional energy projects such as the Inga hydropower dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The development bank has recently invested $70 million in the Inga 3 unit, a stage of the project, with construction expected to begin in 2017, according to Alex Rusamba, director of the bank’s department of energy, environment and climate change.
The hydropower project will have the potential to generate 40 gigawatts of electricity when complete.
Tony Elumelu, the co-chair of the African Energy Leaders Group, at the meeting in Abidjan said the private sector can play a key role in the development of Africa’s energy sector if provided with an enabling environment. Earnest effort are in place to make sure that governments create frameworks to encourage private investment in clean energy.
At the present time, governments in Africa have already pledged to support the deal and help mobilize efforts to work toward ending the continent’s energy deficit in the next decade.