By Favour Nnabugwu
An African initiative to increase solar generation capacity to provide 250 million people with electricity to Nigeria, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal including seven other countries
The Solar electricity to be sccess across Africa’s Sahel region for socio-economic development continues to attract financial support from around the world will include Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea.
Launched in 2019 by the African Development Bank Group and its partners, the Desert to Power initiative is designed to make Africa a renewable power house.
Desert to Power will develop and provide 10 gigawatts of solar energy by 2030 across 11 countries where 64% of the population lives without electricity – with consequences for education, health and business.
At an event held during the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm El Sheikh on Friday, the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, represented by its executive director for Africa, Joseph Nganga, announced $35 million in support of Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) under the initiative.
The Sahel from fragility to resilience and prosperity —brought together government ministers, development partners and private sector in representatives to discuss how to facilitate private sector investments In the Sahel..
Minister Tvinnereim of Norway highlighted the role of renewable energy in sustainable development. “We need to make sure there is access to renewable energy and prevent old fossil emissions. To tackle the crisis in the region, we need the readiness of the governments of the region. We also need sustained access to renewable energy and the Desert to Power program developed by the African Development Bank responds to these critical issues.
President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger addressed the event via video link, reiterating his government’s support for the program. The energy ministers of Mauritania and Niger, as well as senior representatives from key Desert to Power partners—including Power Africa, the Swedish International Development Agency, the European Commission, the International Renewable Energy Agency, the Green Climate Fund, ACWA Power and MASEN—underscored their support for the initiative.
Nganga from the Global Energy Alliance said the Alliance would also support the de-risking of investment made in the Desert to Power infrastructure as well as innovative solutions that would drive the program to succeed.