The African Development Bank (AfDB) has greenlit a $66.4 million support package in aid of accelerated rural electrification programs in the West African nation of Guinea-Bissau.
The funding package consists of a $24.13 million grant and $27.72 million loan from the Transition Support Facility along with a $4.17 million grant and $9.37 million loan from the African Development Fund, USAID, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and the Islamic Development Bank.
The end goal is to bring grid power connectivity to six rural settlements and their surrounding areas scattered across the country: Kankan, Kérouané, Siguiri, Nzérékoré, Beyla and Lola. 984km of low voltage lines, 37km of mixed lines and 797 medium voltage lines are to be built, linking 40 pre-selected localities, accompanied by the provision of 37,367 household connection kits.
The transformational effect that this electrification overhaul could have cannot be overestimated. As with Guinea-Conakry, reliable, high-volume power supply to rural areas allows for in situ refining of bauxite into alumina, increasing the raw ore’s value sixfold for springboarded export-driven economic growth. Likewise, domestic and public lighting made possible by electrification allows for longer working hours, improving business results, and students’ home study- widely recognized as pivotal to education systems’ success.
And finally, agriculture which contributes over 30% of Guinea-Bissau’s GDP can have its supply chains fully localized with Guinean processing operations, allowing value retention in-country- a central goal of the AfDB’s interventions. Indeed, across the bank’s current portfolio of 21 operations totalling $625 million, energy and transport infrastructure account for 65.7% of commitments specifically by dint of the incredible intersectionality of and thus scope of knock-on socioeconomic boons achieved by advancements in this space.
Guinea-Bissau is not alone in receiving this pivotal fiscal support. At the end of last month, the African Development Bank announced a $2 million technical assistance grant had been approved to assist in funding research towards electricity reforms in the Economic Community of West African States, with far-reaching effects across its 15 member nations. Also at this time, the AfDB’s West African infrastructure projects reached an all-time high of $11.5 billion in commitments.
This September, financiers from across Africa, Europe, Asia, America, Australia and the Middle East- the AfDB amongst them- will converge on Dakar for the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference 2022 to write a future for African power that develops Africa, noting vaulting regional aspirations towards 2025 and 2030 universal electrification goals. Over two days ministries, NOCs, multinational execs, heads of state and financiers will engage in discussions over the optimal pathways towards the attention of these targets and the intersectional knock-on boons such landmark achievements would bring. Visit https://msgbcoilgasandpower.com/ to be part of this landmark gathering at our present turning point for West African energy.