African fund okays USD-5.5m grant for Desert to Power project

Solar PV plant. Featured Image: Gilles Paire/

April 11 (Renewables Now) - The African Development Fund, the concessional arm of the African Development Bank Group, has approved a USD-5.5-million (EUR 5.1m) technical assistance grant to kick off the Desert to Power project in the eastern part of the Sahel region, namely in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan, the bank has announced.

The initiative will develop technical studies for regional solar parks and battery storage close to regional energy interconnectors, as well as improve the technical capacity of the implementing agency, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a trade bloc grouping governments from the Horn of Africa, Nile Valley and the Great Lakes region.

The Desert to Power programme, led by the African Development Bank, aims to deploy 10 GW of solar and provide electricity to around 250 million people in 11 countries of the Sahel region -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan -- by 2030.

The newly announced grant for the East Africa Regional Energy Project follows an approval in July last year of a USD-6-million grant for the West Africa Regional Energy Project.

“This Desert to Power project is timely in this post-Covid-19 era, which clearly highlighted the importance of reliable energy services. It has also come at a time when IGAD is planning to take its Regional Infrastructure Master Plan in the energy sector to real implementation,” said IGAD executive secretary Workneh Gebeyehu.

“It is an important milestone in addressing renewable energy investment gaps in the region, and will reduce the adverse effects of climate change and diversifying the energy mix leading to energy security,” added Gebeyehu.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.921)

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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