In Africa, power is inaccessible, unaffordable, and unreliable for most people. This traps people in poverty – students find it difficult to read after dark, clinics cannot refrigerate vaccines and businesses have shorter operating hours.
Today, 25 African countries face an energy crisis. The African continent is well endowed with energy resources but most remain untapped. Solutions to this problem include: boosting cross-border power trade, improving existing utility companies, improving access to electricity on a large scale, while helping countries chart low-carbon growth paths.
The World Bank Africa Energy Unit (AFTEG) works on these solutions through partnerships to bring reliable, environmentally-sound power to more people across Africa.
In fiscal year 2009 , World Bank Group lending to Africa's Energy sector was US$1,231 million, and in 2010, US$4.99 billion, due in large part to the approval of the US$3.75 billion ESKOM investment support project. Lending in fiscal year 2011 reached US$787.8 million. The lending was divided among projects and programs in several sectors including regional interconnection, electricity generation, transmission, distribution, and energy efficiency. The emphasis of World Bank supported projects was on access, regional integration, and renewable energy.
At present, Energy projects funded by the World Bank, including the Lom Pangar Hydropower Project, cover 26 of 47 Sub-Saharan countries, including 6 regional projects (a project involving multiple SSA countries).
2012 and ahead
In fiscal year 2012 (July 2011 through June 2012), the World Bank Group’s Africa Energy (AFTEG) portfolio is preparing 19 projects totaling US$2.279 billion. Currently, in fiscal year 2012 (July 2011 through June 2012), AFTEG's portfolio has received approvals totaling US$576.8 million.
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