April 18, 2024

World Bank, AfDB to provide energy access to 250m Africans by 2030


•No economy can industrialise in the dark — Akinwumi

By Emma Ujah

The World Bank Group and the African Development Bank (AfDB) yesterday committed to providing energy access to 250million people in Africa by 2030.

Both the World Bank President Ajay Banga and AfDB President, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, made the pledge during the ‘Energising Africa’ event held yesterday at the on-going Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, USA.

No economy can industrialise in darkness – Adesina

Meanwhile, Adesina said no economy could industrialised in the dark.

According to him, Africa is where the global energy battle will be won or lost.

He said that electricity supply remained the most important factor in the quest to industrialise the continent.

According to him, no economy can be competitive without energy.

Akinwumi.said that the abnormality of lack of power in Africa had been taken by some people as normal but that it was an aberration.

He said that many Africans have taken lack of electricity as normal but, added, however, that every resources must be deployed to change the narrative.

He stated: “When Ajay came to see me in Abidjan, Cote’d Ivore, we agreed on two things: First, let us solve Africa’s problem of energy; and second, let Africa feed herself.

“We spent a lot of money trying to create jobs. You can’t create jobs without energy.  Energy is like blood in the body of businesses. Economies thrive on energy.

“The amount of economic growth tourism have depends on the amount of energy you have to power the economy. “

Banga said, “Over 600 million people in Africa have no access to any form of power. For me that is absolutely an unacceptable situation.

“Power is a means through which people can have access to good health, access to manufacturing, access to agriculture and improve the quality of life.

“Without power, people won’t have good health, good education, manufacturing. Power is the means of eliminating poverty, ensure productivity and grow the economy.

“I grew up in India and I saw the impact that access or lack of access to power can have on the people. I saw in my own childhood how access to power can increase the quality of life of the people and all I can say is that we should look at it as a very important human right which helps people to harness their potentials.

“I believe that the future of Africa depends on five areas: the first is electricity generation, through upstream and the downstream sub-sectors of the industry, second is housing and third is tourism and tourism jobs, and the final one of course is healthcare.

“The point is access to affordable energy is critical to improving the lives of the people.  With energy everything is possible.”