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West African Development Bank Launches Solar Energy-based Investment Program

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The West African Development Bank (BOAD) has launched a program to accelerate electricity access in West Africa via solar energy. The initiative named ‘Program for the Promotion of Private Investment in the Solar Energy Sector’ (PPIPS) is an investment program that will cover six West African countries and is co-financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

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The recently launched program by BOAD provides a good opportunity for the solar energy suppliers operating in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) zone. The PPIPS will cover six underdeveloped countries in terms of electricity access rates in the region. This includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, and Togo.

BOAD said that the public authorities in these countries are not capable of remedying all the problems in the energy sector due to the lack of sufficient and appropriate financial resources. According to the Togo-based sub-regional financial institution, the PPIPS will create a favorable framework for private investment in the solar energy sector, removing the financial and technical barriers to its development.

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BOAD intends to attract private investors in order to strengthen the production of renewable electricity and diversify the energy mix in the sub-region. The development bank will devote nearly 165 billion CFA francs (251 million euros) to the program. In this financing, 40 billion CFA francs (~61 million euros) will be provided by the GCF in the form of a loan and a grant. 

The PPIPS will help in installing a solar capacity of 1,192 MW in the six beneficiary countries by 2030. According to the financial institution, the mechanism would make it possible to increase their solar energy production capacity by four times. The program will also support technicians by proving training, awareness, and marketing along with financing the solar power providers.

The PPIPS joins another program in the sub-region named the ‘Desert to Power’ program which is being implemented in the Sahel countries. The Desert to Power is an initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) that aims to exploit the solar potential of this part of Africa and targets to install a 10,000 MW renewable energy capacity, benefiting 250 million people in the Sahel region.

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