- World Bank board has approved a financing of $22.5 million as additional funds to develop stand-alone solar products in Africa
- The focus will be on Western and Central African nations, especially the Sahel region
- Project will be implemented through ECOWAS and BOAD, which they believe will support the growth of stand-alone solar market while also creating jobs and providing reliable electricity
The World Bank has approved an amount of $22.5 million as additional financing to support the development of the stand-alone solar products market in Western and Central Africa. Approved by the bank’s Board of Executive Directors, the financing will concentrate on the Sahel nations.
The stand-alone solar products will electrify public health centers and schools, and back job creation to support small and innovative business enterprises through solar home systems (SHS), especially in regions where 50% of the population is off the grid, according to the bank, and where less than 3% of the population uses such innovative technologies.
According to the bank, the idea behind this project is to develop a regional market of stand-alone solar products, support entrepreneurs in business acceleration activities, and provide credits and grants for the deployment of stand-alone solar home systems, by harmonizing policies and business procedures.
Geographically, the project will be implemented in 19 nations, with line of credit available with commercial banks in the sub-region, thanks to this funding.
Funds for the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (Rogep) will be put to use by the new implementing agency—the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), that will coordinate the project activities with the other implementing agency, West African Development Bank (BOAD).
The World Bank will give out the grant through the International Development Association (IDA) and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), through whom it shelled out over $224 million in April 2019 for the project. Back then, the bank said CTF had approved $74.7 million contingent recovery grant for the project (see World Bank Approves $224mn For Africa Off-Grid Solar).
“Stand-alone solar systems have a large market potential in Western and Central Africa including in the Sahel, but investments in off-grid solutions have lagged behind in the sub-region,” said Deborah Wetzel, World Bank Director of Regional Integration for Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Africa.
She added that the new financing will help address demand for reliable electricity, and for businesses and public institutions to use modern stand-alone solar systems to improve their living standards and economic activities.