CONAKRY, July 3, 2014 – The government of Guinea and the World Bank have signed a new development financing agreement in Conakry to improve electricity access for homes and businesses in the energy-starved West African country. The new agreement reflects the recent approval of US$50 million by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors to improve electricity services for as many as 1.5 million people in Guinea, mainly in the Great Conakry area, and also to jumpstart and promote more small local businesses and to boost the prospects of more private investment.
The new financing from IDA* (a US$22.6 million credit and a US$27.4 million grant) supports the Power Sector Recovery Project. This project will help improve the technical and commercial performance of the Electricité de Guinée (EDG), the national power utility. The project is based on recommendations from the Government’s Power Sector Diagnostic and Recovery Plan and will be critical for the success of the broader sector investment plan of over US$1 billion.
“Reliable electricity is a key factor for productivity and competitiveness and is critical to attract investments, expand and diversify production, and create jobs,” says Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Country Director for Guinea. “This project will help Guinea improve the country’s national electricity grid and power utility operations, and will improve the reliability of energy supply for homes, businesses, hospitals, and schools.”
The project will focus on improving the technical and commercial performance of the national utility EDG and also fund the rehabilitation and upgrade of the national distribution system to improve electricity reliability and reduce power losses. Combined with investments in power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure to be funded by other donors, the project is expected to lead to major improvements in the quantity and quality of electricity for the benefit of end-users in the medium term.
“Lack of investment and maintenance of power infrastructure in Guinea for many years, combined with poor management of the national power utility, has led to widespread power shortages for households and businesses,” says Moez Cherif, World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project. “Today’s project, in combination with investments that are supported by other donors, aims to address those issues, thus leading to increased and more reliable power supply, which in turn will facilitate economic growth and job creation”.