The African Development Bank (AFDB) is set to provide up to $164m in financing for decentralized renewable energy projects in six African countries. The approval of the Leveraging Energy Access Finance Framework (LEAF) program is aimed at scaling up activities of renewable energy companies in Ghana, Guinea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tunisia. The program is part of the bank’s broader off-grid strategy under the New Deal on Energy for Africa, complementing existing initiatives such as the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa.
The $800m LEAF program is expected to support local currency investments to finance 18 decentralized renewable energy projects in the six African countries. The program aims to provide electricity access to about six million people, which would result in savings of 28.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over the lifetime of the systems. The LEAF program was developed in collaboration with the Green Climate Fund, which approved $170.9m in concessional financing for it in July 2021.
According to the recent Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 report, nearly 600 million Africans still lack access to electricity. This situation worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic as investments in infrastructure and projects stalled. Decentralized renewable energy systems, such as solar home systems, green mini-grids, and solutions for commercial and industrial users, will play a key role in meeting the electricity requirements of people and businesses across the African continent.
AFDB’s Vice President in charge of Power, Energy, Climate Change, and Green Growth, Kevin Kariuki, said, “The African Development Bank is delighted to partner with the Green Climate Fund on the Leveraging Energy Access Finance Framework, which will not only accelerate access to electricity based on decentralized renewable energy solutions, hence reducing the respective countries’ carbon footprints but will do so with the active participation of a private sector facilitated by local currency financing and commercial capital availed under the program.”
The AFDB board also recently approved a $379.6m financing facility for the Desert to Power G5 Sahel scheme, which covers Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. The financing facility will help to build solar power plants and transmission lines, providing electricity to more than 3.5 million people.
Access to reliable and sustainable energy is crucial to achieving sustainable development and economic growth in Africa. The LEAF program will go a long way in providing access to electricity to millions of people in Africa, which will improve the quality of life and contribute to the overall development of the continent. The LEAF program will also help to reduce carbon emissions, which will contribute to the global efforts to mitigate climate change.
In conclusion, the African Development Bank’s commitment to promoting decentralized renewable energy projects in Africa is a significant step towards achieving sustainable energy access and meeting the energy needs of millions of people and businesses across the continent. The LEAF program will provide access to electricity to millions of people, reduce carbon emissions, and contribute to the overall development of the continent.