The Executive Directors of the World Bank have approved an additional financing of US$22.5 million for the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) implementation in 19 countries.
The funds, which come from the International Development Association (IDA), and the Clean Technology Funds (CTF), will increase access to electricity in 19 countries of West and Central Africa. This fund complements the US$217.2 million already approved in April 2019 and provided by the IDA and CTF.
“This operation aims to support the development of the market for stand-alone solar systems in West and Central Africa, particularly in the Sahel countries. It complements the operation approved in April 2019, financed with US$150 million from IDA and US$67.2 million from CTF.”World Bank
In West Africa and the Sahel, only 3% of households are connected to a stand-alone solar home system. In the same region, 208 million people are without electricity, according to the World Bank. Moreover, this situation has worsened with the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Rachid Benmessaoud, ROGEP will help decision-makers in the region to create a regional market for stand-alone solar systems. He added that this is vital for combating poverty, particularly through the creation of jobs for millions of people. Rachid Benmessaoud is the Director of Regional Integration Coordination in West Africa.
“The electrification project will also enable entrepreneurs to seize the opportunities of this new market by developing scalable business solutions.”Rachid Benmessaoud, Director of Regional Integration Coordination in West Africa.
Through the additional funding, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has been appointed as a new implementing agency of the project. ECOWAS will coordinate the project activities with the West African Development Bank (BOAD). Specifically, ECOWAS’s role is to develop a regional market for off-grid solar systems,
About the ROGEP Project
The project’s geographic scope covers 19 countries in Western and Central Africa, 15 of which are members of ECOWAS. The 19 Central and West African countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Cameroon, and Mauritania.
ROGEP project seeks to develop off-grid solar systems on the black continent. Specifically, each country will receive solar systems ranging from 20 to 350 kWp and other tailor-made solutions.
According to Deborah Wetzel, off-grid solar systems have a large market potential in Western and Central Africa including Sahel countries. However, the region is struggling to attract sufficient investment in these off-grid solutions. Deborah Wetzel is the World Bank Director of Regional Integration for Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Africa.
“This new funding will help meet the growing demand for reliable sources of electricity. Also, it will create jobs for the millions of people currently without electricity or suffering from the irregular supply. Businesses and public institutions can also rely on modern stand-alone solar systems to improve living standards and expand economic activity.”Deborah Wetzel, World Bank Director of Regional Integration for Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Africa.