Desert to Power initiative to light up the Sahel countries “showcased” at COP27

Desert to Power initiative to light up the Sahel countries “showcased” at COP27

Launched in 2019 by the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and its partners, the Desert to Power initiative to increase solar generation capacity to provide 250 million people with electricity access across Africa’s Sahel region for socio-economic development continues to attract financial support from around the world.

The Desert to Power initiative is designed to turn Africa into a renewable power house by developing and providing 10 gigawatts of solar energy by 2030 across 11 countries where 64% of the population lives without electricity. The project is expected to have positive consequences for education, health and business in Senegal, Nigeria, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea. At an event held during the COP27 conference in Egypt on Friday (11 November), the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, represented by its executive director for Africa, Joseph Nganga, announced $35 million in support of Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) under the initiative.

SEFA is a multi-dollar special fund created to provide catalytic finance to unlock private sector investments in renewable energy. The Friday event brought together government ministers, development partners and private sector representatives to discuss how to facilitate private sector investments In the Sahel. The meeting provided an opportunity to present the Desert to Power program to potential partners and to rally investors toward its implementation. Addressing the participants, including ministers from the Sahel region, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina emphasized the importance of electricity in ensuring security and poverty reduction.


“This will be the largest solar zone in the world and so we want to turn this into a real economic activity … one that will generate productive energy to be used by the countries across the Sahel,” Adesina said.

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