The African Development Bank (AfDB) has urged African countries to improve their absorption capacity to access loans in the $12 billion dollars package for the continent’s energy sector.
Country manager for AfDB in Egypt, Leila Mokaddem, said this at the opening of the Egyptian-African Cooperation Programme for Women in African Media in Cairo, Egypt.
Mokaddem said the fund can only be accessed if countries sdemostrate the capacity to use the funds for the intended purposes.
“Africa currently has more than 350 million people who are yet to be connected to affordable power. We, at the Bank, want to help African countries extend their energy base so as to be able to light up homes of their people,” she said.
Mokaddem said the bank is currently receiving documentation from various governments on how they want to use these loans to benefit millions of people who are still not able to access electricity.
The AfDB, through the fund, is targeting up to 150 million people to have access to clean energy.
“Our other priority areas, include agriculture where we have allocated $24 million to improve availability of food in countries that are currently facing food shortages such as Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Sierra Leone,” added Mokaddem.
Currently, only 10 percent of Malawi’s population is connected to the national power grid with the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) only being able to generate up to 351 megawatts (MW) against suppressed demand of 350MW.