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World Bank Approves $500m to Bolster Electricity Access

April 3 , 2021

The World Bank has approved half-a-billion dollars in credit through the International Development Association (IDA) to support Ethiopia’s goal of achieving universal electricity access by 2025. The first phase of the national electrification programme was supported by the World Bank and approved in 2018. The programme aims to provide electricity services for nearly five million people, 11,500 enterprises, and 1,400 health and education facilities. "The project represents the World Bank’s continued support to the government of Ethiopia’s national electrification programme," said Ousmane Dione, World Bank country director for Ethiopia. Through a component in the programme dubbed access to distributed electricity and lighting, the Bank hopes to see a strategic change from infrastructure development to delivering adequate, reliable and affordable electricity services with a vision to reach universal electrification in four years. This will focus on using solar and renewable energy, mini-grids, and the private sector's inclusion to provide access to new and improved electricity services for households, smallholder farmers, commercial and industrial users, and social institutions in both urban and rural areas.  This part of the project is designed to be implemented through the Ministry of Water, Irrigation & Electricity, the Ethiopian Electric Utility, and the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE). Despite encouraging progress over the last decade, over half of the total population still has no reliable access to electricity, making Ethiopia one of the three lowest-ranked countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of energy access. The issue is particularly prevalent in deep rural areas and remains one of the principal obstacles that exacerbate the country's poverty.


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