BURKINA FASO: AfDB lends €48.82 million for rural electrification by solar energy

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BURKINA FASO: AfDB lends €48.82 million for rural electrification by solar energy ©portumen/Shutterstock

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has granted a €48.82 million loan to Burkina Faso. The funds are intended for the implementation of the "Yeleen" project, which aims to electrify rural areas using solar energy.

The “Yeleen” (sun) project is now supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The Board of Directors of this pan-African financial institution approved a loan of €48.82 million for the implementation of the project. This funding is timely as work will begin in 2020 and be completed four years later.

The AfDB has decided to include it in its “Desert to Power” initiative, which aims to provide solar power to 250 million people in the Sahel countries: from Chad to Burkina Faso, Sudan, Djibouti, Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Eritrea and Niger. In Burkina Faso, the “Yeleen” project is part of the government’s Solar Plan 2025.

“In the long term, this project will increase and diversify the supply of electricity through the construction of four additional 52 MWp photovoltaic plants. It will also make it possible to develop energy distribution networks. At least 30,000 new households, or about 200,000 people, will be affected,” the AfDB explains.

A project supported by several development partners

The first solar photovoltaic power plant of the “Yeleen” project will be located in Ouaga No, on the western outskirts of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. The new facility will be accompanied by a 30 km overhead power line that will connect to the existing substation in Kossodo, northeast of Ouagadougou. The power line bypasses the city and its agglomeration from the north and the last kilometre is planned to be built underground.

The other solar photovoltaic power plants will be located in the localities of Dori and Diapaga, located respectively in northeast and west Burkina Faso. These projects will be implemented under the supervision of the National Electricity Corporation of Burkina Faso (Sonabel). “This project is in addition to the Bank’s efforts to ensure inclusive access to energy by improving rural electrification, regional interconnections and energy sector reforms. The project will increase Burkina Faso’s energy production capacity by 15%, reducing its dependence on imported fossil fuels,” said Wale Shonibare, the AfDB’s Acting Vice President for Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth.

The “Yeleen” project will require a total investment of 136.69 million euros. In addition to the AfDB, the European Union and the French Development Agency (AFD) as well as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) are supporting the government of Burkina Faso’s project.

Jean Marie Takouleu


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