World Bank, ECOWAS plan $225m electricity project
The World Bank has concluded pact with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to embark on a $225 million regional power project, aimed at achieving universal access to electricity.
ECOWAS Director for Energy and Mines, Dabire Bayaornibe, who spoke in Abuja, said investments efforts by the organisations, would make the energy sector the engine of development in the region.
Bayaornible also explained that the project was set up for the benefit of member states, and designed based on short and medium term needs to strengthen, and extend distribution networks.
According to him, the project will enable cross-border electrification in Guinea Bissau, Mali, and The Gambia, which 152,000 households would benefit, adding that they are targeting 1.1 million communities.
He listed the relevance of the project to include “the low rate of access to power (less than 40%) in the region, and the structural difficulties encountered by national power companies.
“This has resulted in their inability to expand electricity distribution networks in order to increase the number of connections and their customers. The project will be implemented in three complementary phases.”
The Director said the first phase of the project will give an update on the current state of implementation in their respective countries as well as the challenges being encountered and their proposed solutions.
World Bank Representative, Pedro Sanchez, a lead Energy Specialist, charged the ECOWAS, and states to ensure the implementation and to regularly review the progress of the project.
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