African Development Bank (AfDB) has hinted of plans to invest the sum of $12billion to tackle the perennial energy crisis In Africa.
Giving this hint was the AfDB President, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.
According to him, the bank is investing $12billion in the energy sector on the continent for the next five years to leverage the $45-50billion required for energy development.
While lamenting that about 645 million Africans do not have access to power, Adesina disclosed that the AfDB provided $1.7billion in financing energy and help provide electricity for over three million people.
Speaking in Lagos at the launching of two books titled, ‘Transformative Paradigms in African Development” and “A Journey in African Development’ written by Chief Bisi Ogunjobi, a former Vice President of AfDB, Adesina who lamented that the intractable energy crisis has continued to have adverse effect on the continent, said African leaders must do everything within their powers to address the problem.
“The development of the private sector is crucial for African economies. The bulk of the private sector accounted for by small and medium scale enterprises, which lack financing to grow their businesses and their challenges are compounded by structural factors such as lack of electricity that drives up their cost of doing business.
“Unlocking access to affordable financing, reducing over-taxation and addressing the problem of power will unleash the incredible potential of the private sector, (hence) AfDB is supporting various countries’ efforts at power generation and distribution by investing huge sums money to take the continent out of darkness.
“In Nigeria, we provided $200million to support the Nigeria Electricity Trader to float bonds to address the challenges in the power sector. We supported the construction of Morocco’s Noor Ouzazarte, the largest concentrated solar power in the world, and also supported the development of the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, the largest in Africa,” he said.
“Two weeks ago,” he said, “at the margins of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, AfDB also ” signed a new $6billion energy financing facility to be provided by Japan to support power system, transition including clean coal technology” for the continent.
Author of the book, Chief Ogunjobi who spent over 30 years of senior management and professional experience in national and international banking said the books look at the impact of the continent’s myriads of socio-economic development problems and offer solutions.