AfDB Unveils Desert To Power Initiative To G5 Sahel Summit In B/Faso

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  …Shops for $20bn from development partners 

 Chibisi Ohakah

President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina will be presenting the Bank’s “Desert to Power” initiative to heads of state and government at the G5 Sahel Summit holding in Ouagadougou, of Burkina Faso.

The G5 Sahel is a strategic framework for regional cooperation created in 2014. It includes Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad. Akinwunmi will be stressing the importance of political will in the success of the “Desert to Power” initiative, whose goal is to guarantee universal access to electricity for over 60 million people through solar energy.

The Bank said the President’s appearance at the summit will also provide an opportunity to strengthen the south-south partnership as well as stimulate worldwide involvement in the Desert to Power initiative beyond the G5 Sahel countries.

Spokesman of AfDB, Aristide Ahouassou, said last weekend that the Bank intends to raise at least $20 billion from development partners on the “Desert to Power” Initiative. According to him, the President would be drawing attention to the paradox that one of the world’s sunniest regions lacks access to electricity.

“As part of its electrification strategy for Africa, the Bank is firmly committed to accelerating access to high quality, low-cost energy for the continent’s people. Critical network connections have been approved by the Bank’s Board: Mali-Guinea, Nigeria-Niger-Benin-Burkina Faso and Chad-Cameroon,” Ahouassou said

The “Desert to Power” initiative spans 11 countries: Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Sudan, Djibouti, Senegal and Chad. It will have a significant impact on the standard of living of 250 million people.

The goal is to install 10 gigawatts of solar capacity between now and 2030, which will take a big step towards the achievement of the Bank’s High 5 goals, since access to energy cuts across all Africa’s development needs. It is also in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on and the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative.

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