AfDB encourages integration of Renewable Energy Development in its projects in Africa

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Tunis, 30 September 2004 – The African Development Bank (ADB) will organize a Wind Energy Workshop on 28 and 29 October in Tunis to encourage the development of marketable Wind Energy potentials on the continent, in the framework of its support to Private Sector and Sustainable Development in Africa.

In this perspective, the ADB Staff participated to the FINESSE Renewable Energy Staff Seminar held on 23 September on the site of the Tunis International Centre for Environmental Technologies (CITET) in Tunis. The objective of this seminar was to introduce the participating staff to applications of renewable energy such as wind, solar and bio energies, in fields of operation, like water supply and sanitation, education, health, agriculture, infrastructure, rural development and enterprise development. Furthermore, the seminar gave an overview of existing mechanisms and models of attracting grant finance for projects on renewable energy.

The seminar presented a number of case studies to illustrate the potential impact of renewable energy. Demonstrations of some of the renewable energy technologies, specifically designed for Africa, like solar water pumping, wind energy and water pasteurization were offered. The FINESSE renewable energy seminar trainers emphasized on the comparative advantage of the renewable energies in terms of reduced running costs as well as accessibility and simplicity of management. Indeed, even in the most isolated region of the continent, the local communities can involve and manage their energy supply and create wealth and employments by exploiting renewable energy. The trainers also explained ways ADB task managers can benefit from the FINESSE program to integrate renewable energy to their projects in the goal of ensuring sustainable development in African countries.

The FINESSE Africa program is supported by an agreement between the Bank and the Dutch government providing a grant funding of US$ 5.3 million over a period of 4 years. The ADB’s Sustainable Development and Reduction of Poverty (PSDU) initiated the FINESSE program to help promote widespread dissemination of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies in Africa.

Indeed, despite the vast potential of energy resources available in Africa, 92% of the rural population does not have access to modern energy services. The majority of the population that is not connected to the grid will remain "in darkness" regardless of the massive investment in the electricity sector. In this light, efforts have to be directed at providing sustainable energy to the population. With traditional grid extension becoming excessively expensive to provide isolated rural areas with electricity, decentralised renewable energy and energy efficient technologies that make use of locally available resources become relevant.

Media contact:

Sabrina Hadjadj Aoul

+216 71 10 36 98