Thandiwe Katinhimure, Business Reporter
THE African Development Bank (AfDB) says it plans to reach 29.3 million people with electricity by 2020 as it ventures into investment in renewable energy on the continent.
AfDB president Dr Akinwumi Adesina said this in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, recently.
At present, 25.5 million people in Africa have access to electricity.
“The AfDB is today at the forefront of investing in renewable energy in Africa. The share of renewable energy in the Bank’s energy portfolio increased from 14 percent when I became president in 2015 to 100 percent last year.
“Our support last year alone provided 3.8 million Africans with access to electricity. And, with adequate financing, we expect to reach 29.3 million people with access to electricity between 2018 and 2020,” said Dr Adesina.
He called on the United Nations to support the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility to also work differently and boost support for climate risk insurance for vulnerable African countries which are hard pressed to find resources to pay the insurance premiums.
Dr Adesina said AfDB would support African countries in insuring themselves against disastrous weather events that displace their public expenditures.
The bank plans to provide $76 million this year for the payment of insurance premiums, with participating countries providing $31.5 million and the African Risk Capacity Agency (ARC) providing $16 million.
“An understanding of the link between environmental degradation, extreme poverty and youth unemployment is critical to a New Way of Working. Wherever these three elements are present, there is a ‘Triangle of Disaster’, in which unemployment, poverty and environmental degradation chase each other in a downward spiral to dereliction, terrorism, violence and conflict,” he said.
Dr Adesina said AfDB brings such understanding to bear in its policies and programmes, adding that Africa’s Triangles of Disaster should become Triangles of Prosperity, supplied with jobs, wealth and environmental resilience.
Last year, the Bank approved a special framework programme called “Say No to Famine” worth $1.14 billion.