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Afdb Pledges $12 Billion To Close Power Deficit In Africa

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, May 04, (THEWILL) – The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has revealed that the bank has launched the New Deal on Energy for Africa with a commitment of 12 billion dollars over the next five years and with the goal of leveraging between 45 billion dollars and 50 billion dollars.

In a statement issued in Abuja by Jennifer Patterson, AfDB Acting Director, Communications and External Relations, Adesina made this known at the Centre for Global Development in Washington where he declared that the continent needs 35 billion dollars to close its power deficit.

Adesina said that the bank's vision for Africa was encapsulated in the High 5 points which are: to “Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

“Our goal is to connect 130 million people to the grid, 75 million via off grids and provide some 150 million with clean cooking energy,” he stated.

“We have set up a whole new Vice Presidency just for Power and Energy; the first and only Multilateral Development Bank to do so.

“Last year, we financed 1.7 billion dollars in the power sector across 19 countries and will increase this to two billion dollars this year, leveraging 5-7 billion dollars.

“We've launched a 500 million dollar Fund for Energy Inclusion with 100 million dollars seed capital to provide affordable finance for companies investing in renewable energy.

Adesina declared that Africa's annual food import bill of 35 billion dollars, estimated to rise to 110 billion dollars by 2025, weakens African economies, decimates its agriculture and exports jobs from the continent adding that just as electricity powers an economy, so does food provide energy for people.

He also said that the bank had prioritized agriculture to rapidly support Africa to diversify its economies and revive its rural areas revealing that the bank had committed 24 billion dollars towards agriculture in the next 10 years with a sharp focus on food self-sufficiency and agricultural industrialisation.

Adesina also said that to tackle the issue of high youth unemployment rates, the bank had launched the Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment (ENABLE) Youth initiative for young 'Agripreneurs' in several countries, including Nigeria and Sudan.

“The African Development Bank is delivering for Africa and it has the capacity to deliver more for Africa.

“It now needs substantial financing wind behind its sails, it's time for speedy financing actions to accelerate Africa's development,” Adesina said.