By Chris Ochayi
President of Africa Development Bank, AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has declared that Africa is tired of being in darkness and that it is time to take decisive action and turn around the narrative to light up and power the continent.
Adesina made the declaration on the backdrop of the mission undertaken by the bank to hold further discussions on Nigeria’s Power Sector Recovery Program, PSRP, with several stakeholders in Abuja, aimed at solving energy crisis facing the continent, especially Nigeria. The high-level mission was led by Amadou Hott, the bank’s Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth, to the three-day event, which ended Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
According to Adesina, “Africa is simply tired of being in the dark. It is time to take decisive action and turn around this narrative: to light up and power Africa – and accelerate the pace of economic transformation, unlock the potential of businesses and drive much-needed industrialisation to create jobs.
“The bank will focus on supporting the program in three primary areas including operational and technical intervention, addressing governance issues and policy-based support. The program is designed to promote energy access to rural communities through the expansion of the transmission grid, development of innovative financing products and provision of technical assistance to improve revenue generation by the distribution companies.”
The goal of the mission was to identify opportunities for collaboration in the program. It included meetings with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies to harmonise plans and areas of intervention, including the Federal Ministries of Finance, Power, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, the World Bank and solar power developers.
The African Development Bank’s energy strategy identifies energy as crucial not only for the attainment of health and education outcomes, but also for industrialisation, reducing the cost of doing business, unlocking economic potential and creating jobs. “In line with its High5 development priorities, the bank is committed to supporting Nigeria in the effective and efficient implementation of the country’s Power Sector Recovery Program,” he added.