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AfDB approves US$34.74mn for Liberia’s renewable energy

With this new signing, energy now accounts for 26 per cent of the Fund’s total commitments in Liberia. (Image source: AfDB)

The African Development Fund has approved a US$34.74mn grant and loan to boost renewable energy access and promote an attractive investment climate in Liberia

Dr Orison Amu, the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) country manager in Liberia, and Samuel Tweah Jr, Liberia’s minister of finance and development planning, signed financing agreements for two projects.

Under the first project, the Renewable Energy for Electrification in Liberia, more than US$33mn, primarily in the form of a grant from the AfDB and the Strategic Climate Fund’s scaling-up renewable energy programme, is to support renewable energy sector growth.

The funds will go towards the construction of a mini dam on the St. John River in Nimba County in northeastern Liberia and the development of the Gbedin hydropower Falls with a total capacity of 9.34MW of power, to be transmitted through eight kilometres, 33kV line connecting 7,000 households.

The system would allow for grid expansion to isolated communities and support the connection of schools, health centers, businesses and industries to the national grid, increasing the rural electrification rate in Liberia.

Minister Samuel Tweah Jr said that the project, scheduled for completion by 2024, would help unlock one of the main constraints to economic development -- access to a reliable, affordable and sustainable supply of electricity.

The second project - Support to Investment Promotion Agencies in Transition Countries – received approval for an additional US$1mn to assist in promoting business investment in Liberia and building the capacity of the National Investment Commission. The funds will come from the Bank’s Transition Support Facility.

As of January 2020, the Fund has 16 on-going and recently approved operations in Liberia with a total commitment of US$413mn. The active portfolio spreads over six sectors covering infrastructure, predominantly roads, and energy.

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