The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it hopes to invest between $40 and $50 billion in the energy sector across the continent.
AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina said this in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, weekend at the 31st Session of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee.
According to Adesina, the AfDB plans to invest $12 billion in the energy sector over the next five years.
He said the bank would also triple its climate finance to Africa to $5 billion per year by 2020 in order to support climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts on the continent.
He said the bank had already worked with the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment and the African Union with strong support from the G7, especially Germany and France, to develop and launch the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative at the COP 21 in Paris.
The AfDB chief said while over 645 million Africans lacked access to electricity, 700 million did not have access to clean cooking gas.
He said: “Regular supply of power, which is taken for granted in developed countries, is a luxury in Africa in the 21st century. Some 137 years after Thomas Edison developed the light bulb, Africa is still in the dark. Today, over 645 million Africans do not have access to electricity, and 700 million go without access to clean cooking energy; with 600,000 dying each year from indoor pollution from reliance on biomass for cooking.
“Africa is simply tired of being in the dark. It is time to take decisive action and turn around this narrative: to light up and power Africa – and accelerate the pace of economic transformation, unlock the potential of businesses, and drive much needed industrialization to create jobs.
“The African Development Bank has developed the New Deal on Energy for Africa and launched the Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa, to help light up and power Africa.”