HARARE, The African Development Bank (AfDB) will make available 2.0 billion US dollars for power projects across Africa this year, up from 1.7 billion USD last year, says its president, Akinwumi Adesina.

This is in line with the Bank’s High 5s initiative, which are priority actions designed to scale up the AfDB’s operations for the continent’s transformation. The High 5s are lighting up and powering Africa, feeding Africa, industrializing Africa, integrating Africa and improving the quality of life for the people of Africa.

Speaking at the Center for Global Development in Washington D.C, Adesina said the availability of adequate power would help push Africa’s industrialisation agenda. Last year, we financed 1.7 billion USD in the power sector across 19 countries and will increase this to 2.0 billion USD this year, he said.

We have launched a 500 million USD Fund for Energy Inclusion with 100 million USD seed capital, to provide affordable finance for companies investing in renewable energy.

The AfDB has played a crucial role in the socio-economic development of the continent and in 2015 availed loans and grants amounting to 8.8 billion USD, a 25 per cent increase from 2014. The topmost priority of the High 5s is to tackle the severe energy deficit on the continent where an estimated 650 million people do not have access to electricity.

Zimbabwe has over the years received funding from the AfDB for projects in various sectors of the economy including energy. The bank has been appointed the lead coordinator for the 2,400-megawatt Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme being developed jointly by Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The 4.0 billion USD project entails construction of an 181-metre high, 720-m wide dam and two surface power plants, one on either side of the river bank with capacity to produce 1,200 MW each. The project is expected to be completed by 2024.


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