World Bank approves Ethiopia-Kenya power grid
DEVELOPMENTBy BiztechAfrica - 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
Education summit to focus on infrastructureThe West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) conference 2014, takes place in Lome, Togo, this week. Read More
Samsung solar powered internet school for DRCA Solar Powered Internet School handed over in Kinshasa is expected to improve learning and education through the use of ICTs. Read More
MTN Foundation supports orphans in CameroonFriends of the MTN Foundation have supported orphans at the Marie France Foundation Reception Centre in Cameroon. Read More
AfDB: Ghana power network to be reinforcedThe Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved a US $30.47 million grant and a US $43.9 million loan to the Republic of Ghana to reinforce and extend the country’s electricity distribution network. Read More
AfDB affirms support of Power AfricaThe African Development Bank (AfDB) is planning to deepen its engagement in Power Africa in 2014. Read More
M-KOPA Solar targets 1m homes by 2018M-KOPA Solar has closed its most recent round of funding, raising Ksh 1.72 billion to fund expansion of its customer base from 50,000 homes to one million homes by 2018. Read More
GE gives $1m to children’s fundGE has donated $1 million to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Read More
Demand for energy independence opens opportunities in gas turbine marketSubstantial growth in energy demand and policy changes to decrease gas flaring are driving new power plants installation in Africa and fuelling the uptake of gas turbines, says Frost & Sullivan. Read More
Mobile libraries to take multimedia facilities to Angola’s youthAngola is launching a new network of mobile multimedia libraries, to take ICT access to underserved areas. Read More
More productive jobs for youth vital for Africa’s developmentCreating millions of productive, well-paying jobs will be vital to boost economic growth in Africa, according to a new World Bank report on youth employment in Africa. Read More
FEATURED STORYMACRA demystifies spectrum management
Malawi's regulator explains the issues around spectrum allocation. Gregory Gondwe reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHYouthConnekt launches Mobile Apps for Human Development Challenge in Rwanda
Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT and the UNDP, in close collaboration with Motorola Solutions, will power a Mobile App Challenge that will be implemented by YouthConnekt.