AfDB Commits $164m to Renewable Energy Development in Nigeria, 5 Other Nations

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The board of directors the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has earmarked $164million for decentralized renewable energy development in Nigeria and five other African countries, under the portfolio of Leveraging Access Finance Framework (LEAF) programme.

The LEAF framework will provide decentralized renewable energy solutions to tackle the energy shortfall, while also reducing CO2 emissions and simultaneously boosting local economies and businesses.

This initiative addresses financial and investment barriers by deploying credit enhancement instruments and new financial products to crowd in local currency debt and commercial capital. The LEAF framework also addresses adverse COVID-19 economic impacts which have limited national capacities to achieve renewable energy transition goals.

The other benefitting countries include Ghana, Guinea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tunisia. The AfDB said the programme would help spur commercial and local currency investments to scale up the activities of decentralised renewable energy companies in the six African countries.

Under LEAF, some 18 decentralized renewable energy projects are expected to be financed, providing access to six million people and businesses, resulting in 28.8 million tons CO2 eq. in greenhouse gas emission reductions over the lifetime of the systems.

The AfDB developed the LEAF programme in collaboration with the Green Climate Fund, which approved $170.9 million in concessional financing in July 2021. The framework forms part of the Bank’s broader off-grid strategy under the New Deal on Energy for Africa. It further complements existing initiatives, such as the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa.

The Bank’s vice president in charge of power, energy, climate change and green growth, Dr Kevin Kariuki, was quoted in a release last weekend saying the bank is delighted to partner with the Green Climate Fund on the Leveraging Energy Access Finance Framework.

“It will accelerate access to electricity based on decentralized renewable energy solutions, hence reducing the respective countries’ carbon footprints.

“The Bank is doing so with the active participation of a private sector facilitated by local currency financing and commercial capital availed under the programme,” he said.

According to him, the over six years, LEAF will deploy concessional finance, credit enhancement instruments     and technical assistance to crowd-in private sector investors, including local banks, to finance and accelerate efforts to power the continent.

The Bank’s acting director in charge of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Department, Dr. Daniel Schroth, added: “The approval of this program is very timely as it increases the Bank’s toolbox to support the fast-moving decentralized energy access market which complements conventional grid-connected solutions.”

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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