Scaled Up Support for Solar Energy Production and Rural Electrification in Burkina Faso

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved financing totaling $75 million from the International Development Association (IDA)* and $93 million from the Clean Technology Fund to help increase access to electricity in rural areas in Burkina Faso.

Maimouna Mbow Fam, World Bank Country Manager for Burkina Faso, says that “this new project is fully in line with our Sahel strategy to double electricity access rates by 2025, particularly in rural areas, and create conditions for more private financing in the energy sector. The project supports the government’s energy policy, which has for years sought to promote a hybrid system of energy production, particularly solar energy.

Burkina Faso Solar Energy and Access project (SEAP) aims to improve access to solar energy and increase the mobilization of private financing for greater access to electricity. The project will support the electrification of approximately 300 selected rural localities and the connection of 120,000 households, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and community facilities such as schools and health centers to modern, reliable electricity services. It will also finance key investments to strengthen the grid and integrate solar production and distribution during peak demand.

According to Alexis Madelain, World Bank Task Team Leader for the project, “this new operation will help Burkina Faso mobilize more than $400 million in private investment in solar production and innovative battery storage systems. It will also boost the country’s solar potential, reduce electricity supply costs, and thus expand access to electricity services in rural areas, without increasing recurring subsidies for the sector.”

*The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Established in 1960, it provides grants and low- to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to 1.6 billion people. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61% going to Africa.

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