Mali gains CIF backing to scale up renewable energy

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Mali’s USD 40 million investment plan to scale up renewable energy was approved in principle by the Climate Investment Fund (CIF) governing bodies during their annual meetings from 31 October to 4 November 2011 in Washington, D.C. As an implementing agent of the CIF, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has worked closely with Mali to develop the plan under the CIF’s Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program in Low Income Countries (SREP).

The plan proposes three projects to expand Mali’s solar PV, mini-hydro, and bio-fuel technologies, with important provisions for capacity building and project management critical to the success of this program and the long-term transformation of Mali’s renewable energy sector.

Targeted technical assistance in the bidding process, resource assessment, stakeholder consultations, legal and corporate arrangements, and other related activities will help government authorities build the necessary foundations from which to engage private investors. The Strategic Coordination Unit, named to oversee the investment plan’s implementation, will ultimately improve M&E systems, expand communications and deepen lessons-sharing and knowledge management.

The AFDB’s technical support will continue as projects outlined in the investment plan are finalized over the next months. The AfDB also anticipates lending from its own resources to supplement SREP co-financing that it will be channeling.