Written by David Short
Tunis, 27 January 2010 – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group on Wednesday, 27 January 2010 in Tunis, approved a loan of UA 24.2 million (USD 38 million) from the African Development Fund (ADF), the Group’s concessionary window, to fund the country’s Electricity Infrastructure Strengthening and Rural Electrification Project. The Board also approved an ADF grant of UA 950,000 (USD 1.49 million) for the same project.
The project is in line with Burkina Faso’s socio-economic development policy, which places special emphasis on developing infrastructure, improving the people’s living conditions and reducing poverty.
Burkina Faso has also recognized the need to substantially increase the country’s power supply to meet a fast-growing demand in several urban and rural locations, while also improving the overall quality and reliability of the service. The country’s electricity demand is growing at the rate of approximately 10 per cent, which makes the project a priority issue for the country’s economic and social development.
One of the components of the project relates to the rehabilitation and extension of almost 1,800km of power networks. It will improve coverage of the country, in particular 150 new rural areas. It will also cater to the needs of 800,000 people in 140,000 households. Public lighting will be improved with the installation of 750 extra public..
To tackle these challenges, the government decided to establish interconnections with neighbouring countries, such as Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, as well as developing local generation capacity.
The power project is also in line with the Bank Group’s assistance strategy and Burkina Faso’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by focusing on two pillars: diversification of the economy, and improving the living conditions of the people.
Improved access to energy will support increased productivity and encourage new economic activity.
The project will also increase access to, and improve efficiency in basic service delivery such as drinking water, health, education and communications, It will also have a positive impact on the human development index.
The project was designed in close collaboration with the government as well as broad consultation with other donors and beneficiaries in order to tackle the challenges posed by the country’s electricity needs.