AfDB, GCF and Africa 50 support solar energy programme for the Sahel region

desert powerThe aim is to increase solar power production in the region. (Image source: Pete Jelliffe/Flickr)The African Development Bank (AfDB), Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Africa50 investment fund have signed a letter of intent to collaborate on the Desert to Power programme during AfDB’s annual meetings in Busan, Korea

The Desert to Power programme aims to develop 10,000MW of solar energy across the Sahel region, to provide solar-generated electricity to 250mn people, including 90mn through off grid solutions. The focus is on enabling the development of agriculture and other economic activities.

The three institutions agreed that they will share ideas and resources about opportunities to make solar power available throughout the Sahel region, transforming African deserts into new sources of renewable energy.

Commenting on the project, Akinwumi Adesina, president of AfDB, said, “The Desert to Power programme will transform countries in the Sahel region by accelerating their access to energy through solar power. To realise this ambition, strong collaboration is needed. Therefore the partnership with the GCF and Africa 50 is a great milestone and will help us deliver at scale.”

Howard Bamsey, executive director of GCF, highlighted the potential of the programme and said, “Sahel countries have identified the potential of solar power to bring green energy to people across the region. Renewable energy investment is a priority in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.”

“This agreement allows us to leverage our project development capabilities and build a bigger pipeline of bankable projects that will provide millions of people and businesses on the continent with clean and affordable energy,” stated Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50.

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