WASHINGTON, February 15, 2019 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today $50 million International Development Association (IDA) financing for the Guinea Electricity Access Scale Up Project to help increase access to electricity in selected areas of the country.
This new commitment is a four-year investment project financed by IDA with co-financing from the French Development Agency (AFD), raising the total project amount to $108.5 million. The project is part of a substantive engagement by the World Bank in the energy sector in Guinea, which includes the Power Sector Recovery Project ($50 million approved in 2014 and an additional financing of $25 million approved in 2018), as well three interconnector projects approved in the past three years which will enable Guinea to benefit from the emerging regional power market in West Africa. With its participation in the regional power market, Guinea will improve electricity services for Guineans and help reduce costs of electricity in the sub-region.
The project will finance the rehabilitation, densification and expansion of distribution networks in the areas of the Greater Conakry and secondary cities of Kindia and Forécariah, and enable 90,000 new or improved electricity connections, benefiting more than 600,000 Guineans. The project will reduce electricity theft through the regularization of illegal and unsafe connections in Conakry, which will help improve the financial viability of the electricity utility, Electricité de Guinée. In addition, it will pilot public-private partnerships to bring electricity services to remote localities using solar mini-grids. Finally, the project will promote business opportunities for women and youth that will be possible through providing electricity services.
“The project comes at the right time in Guinea, as it will provide access to affordable and reliable electricity and ensure that more Guineans benefit from the Government of Guinea’s significant investments in power generation, following the commissioning of the Kaleta Hydropower Project in 2015 and expected commission of the Souapiti Hydropower Project”, said Rachidi Radji, World Bank Representative for Guinea.
“This project constitutes an important milestone for the implementation of the National Least Cost Electricity Access Rollout Program as it will create an appropriate institutional arrangement and capacity to unlock complementary financing from other donors”, said Yussuf Uwamahoro, Senior Energy Specialist.
The project is aligned with the strategy of the Government of Guinea including the National Electricity Access Scale Up Program 2016–2020, which is a planning document designed to accelerate electricity access in the country and pave the way towards universal access for all Guineans by 2030. The Program benefited from a grant from the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).