The African Development Bank, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Africa50 investment fund signed a letter of intent to collaborate on the Desert to Power programme on the sidelines of the Bank’s Annual Meetings, Busan, Korea.
The Desert to Power programme, initiated by the Bank, aims to develop 10,000 MW of solar energy across the Sahel region. It is intended to provide solar-generated electricity to 250 million people, including 90 million through off-grid solutions, thereby enabling the development of agriculture and other economic activities.
The three institutions agreed that they will share ideas and resources about opportunities to make solar power available throughout the Sahel region, transforming African deserts into new sources of renewable energy.
The African Development Bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina welcomed GCF’s support to the initiative, which he said has the potential - with investment from the private sector - to become the world’s largest solar power zone.
“The Desert to Power programme will transform countries in the Sahel region by accelerating their access to energy through solar power. To realize this ambition, strong collaboration is needed. Therefore the partnership with the Green Climate Fund and Africa 50 is a great milestone and will help us deliver at scale.”
GCF Executive Director, Howard Bamsey highlighted the potential of Desert to Power.
“Sahel countries have identified the potential of solar power to bring green energy to people across the region. Renewable energy investment is a priority in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement,” he added, referring to the action plans national governments are developing to tackle climate change.
Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50, stated: “Africa50 is about leveraging partnerships to contribute to the continent’s growth through developing and funding high impact private and PPP infrastructure projects. This agreement allows us to leverage our project development capabilities and build a bigger pipeline of bankable projects that will provide millions of people and businesses on the continent with clean and affordable energy.”