WASHINGTON, June 14, 2021- The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved $200 million in International Development Association (IDA)* funding to help Benin improve access to electricity services for households, businesses, and basic public services.
The Benin Electricity Access Scale-Up Project will carry out densification and extension works to increase access to grid electricity services for households, small and medium enterprises, and some basic public services. About 2,000 km of medium voltage lines and 4,000 km of low voltage lines will be constructed or rehabilitated and 80,000 kVA of transformers installed in 1,100 localities. At least 20,000 streetlights will also be installed in the project targeted areas. The project will impact more than 150,000 households (25% of which are headed by women), 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (20% of which are headed by women) and 500 basic public services will be connected to the grid.
"Economic gains increase when electricity availability improves. This operation will provide social benefits to households and business opportunities to micro, small and medium enterprises that need available and affordable energy to grow", said Atou Seck, World Bank Country Manager for Benin. "Lack of electricity hinders the adoption of modern technologies and lowers the quality of service delivery such as health care, education and other public services. Electrification of schools and clinics is critical to improve the country's education and health indicators’’.
The project will support the implementation of key reforms in Benin's electrification strategy, complementing the ongoing $60 million Energy Service Improvement Project. It will also finance technical assistance and capacity building activities in the electrical power sector.
This operation is in line with the results of the Geospatial Indicative Electrification Planning Study completed in November 2020, which shows that by 2025, approximately 91% of Benin's population would live within 7 kilometers of the grid.
*The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing 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 the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.