World Bank approves Ethiopia-Kenya power grid
DEVELOPMENT| July 13, 2012, 10:32 a.m.
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved the Eastern Electricity Highway Project, which will connect Ethiopia’s electrical grid with Kenya’s, create power- sharing between the two countries, reduce energy costs, promote sustainable and renewable power generation, better protect the region’s environment, and pave the way for more dynamic regional cooperation between the countries of East Africa.
The new project marks the first phase of a regional East Africa power integration program which is likely to cost USD1.3 billion at completion, eventually benefiting 212 million people living in five countries with a combined GDP of USD107 billion.
Together with the Governments of Ethiopia and Kenya, the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the French Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the project will finance a cross-border power line, to be built according to strong social and environmental safeguards that will allow Ethiopia to sell its surplus power to Kenya and reduce the need for polluting thermal power in Kenya.
The exported electricity will originate from the large number of existing and future power plants in Ethiopia. When required, the flow of electricity can be reversed and Kenya would thus use the same interconnection facilities to sell electricity to Ethiopia.
The World Bank financing to both governments − USD243 million for Ethiopia and USD441 million to Kenya − will come from the International Development Association,* the Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries.
“This landmark transformational project will change the fundamentals of the power sector in East Africa. It will expand access and lower the cost of electricity supply to homes and businesses across Kenya and help to reduce thermal power emissions in Kenya, a clear benefit to the region’s environment,” said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region.
“Currently, only one in three Africans has access to electricity in their communities so boosting power sharing between countries is an essential step toward addressing Africa’s needs.”
Ethiopia will benefit through the sale of energy to Kenya, which faces severe power shortages, and is among the five African countries considered likely to achieve middle-income status in the next decade provided it can grow at six percent annually, significantly expand its electricity supply and improve its transport links. Both countries will benefit from additional jobs created by construction and installation activities.
“The Eastern Electricity Highway Project will make a significant contribution to help meet the development needs of the people of Ethiopia, Kenya and the sub-region” said Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development, Africa Region. “Once built, this power line will be a symbol of Africa’s determination to solve its energy crisis through cooperation in energy trade. It will be a landmark in achieving more growth and less poverty in the region.”
The approval of the East Africa electricity highway project is anchored in a World Bank regional strategy for Africa which promotes greater investment in the continent’s dire lack of key infrastructure as a key step to creating significantly more economic growth and less poverty, with a special emphasis on lowering the cost of supply to create jobs and stimulate the investment capacity of the private sector.
MORE DEVELOPMENT NEWS
Huawei Uganda boosts MTN marathon with UGX 130mThe much anticipated MTN Kampala marathon this weekend has been given a huge boost with the veteran sponsor Huawei donating UGX 130,000,000 toward the event. Read More
Health ICT Innovation Fair on this monthMalawi’s Ministry of Health, through the Central Monitoring and Evaluation Division, in collaboration with Development Partners, says it will conduct the 2014 Health Sector ICT Innovation Fair in Lilongwe on November 27 this year. Read More
MTN GDP recruits 12 Congo Brazzaville youthsTwelve young graduates in Congo Brazzaville are currently learning the ropes in MTN Congo as part of the mobile operator’s Graduate Development Programme. Read More
Smart and easy fixes for hidden household problemsSchneider Electric outlines common electrical problems that put your home at risk and the simple solutions that result in a more comfortable and safe space. Read More
ICT to aid DRC indigenous peopleThe Pygmies, an indigenous people living in the dense tropical rainforest of the northern and central parts of the DRC, have a new friend in information and technology communication (ICT). Read More
Andela, General Assembly to train web developers in AfricaAndela, a global talent accelerator currently operating one of the most selective web development training programs in the world, has announced a partnership with General Assembly, the global educational institution offering instruction and opportunity in technology, business and design. Read More
Schneider Electric off-grid, on-profit solutions to create social change in African rural communitieSchneider Electric South Africa has set itself a target to create access to energy for 20,000 Africans by the end of this year. Read More
Merck in scientific partnership with Kenya Medical Research InstituteMerck has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Kenya Medical Research Institution (KEMRI) for a scientific partnership aimed at contributing to the country’s social and economic development. Read More
IBM partners with Airtel and Echo Mobile on Ebola containment initiatives in AfricaAirtel, IBM Research Africa and Kenya's Echo Mobile have joined forces to launch several initiatives to help curb the spread of Ebola in West Africa. Read More
AccessKenya Becomes ICT Partner for Nairobi Marathon 2014-15AccessKenya Group is this year’s ICT Sponsor for the Standard Chartered Nairobi International Marathon, to be held on 26 October. Read More
FEATURED STORYGSMA: half a billion mobile subscribers in SSA by 2020
The number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will pass the half billion mark in 2020, says a new GSMA report.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSLeading through volatility in Africa
For the businesses that are prepared to face the storm and manage the volatility afflicting the continent, there are still huge rewards to be had from doing business ...