SENEGAL: US grant of $550 million to improve access to electricity

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GAMBIA: $66 million from ECOWAS to improve access to electricity

Senegal has concluded a $600 million agreement with the United States of America (USA) aimed mainly at improving the performance of its electricity sector. The two parties signed the agreement on December 10, 2018, providing a $550 million U.S. donation.

Three projects will soon be launched in Senegal: the project to modernise and strengthen the distribution network of Senelec (Senegal’s national electricity distribution company), the project to widen access to electricity in rural and peri-urban areas and the project for a promising environment and capacity development in the electricity sector. They are the result of the partnership agreement signed by the Senegalese government and the government of the United States of America (USA) on Monday, December 10, 2018. The agreement will improve energy access conditions for more than 12 million Senegalese people. The Senegalese government will invest $50 million to carry out the project. A $550 million grant will be provided by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. bilateral aid agency.

This north-south cooperation should make it possible to “meet the growing demand for electricity in one of Africa’s most dynamic economies” according to the US Embassy in Senegal. It will notably improve reliability and access to electricity and will support economic growth while reducing poverty.

The financing requirement for infrastructure in Senegal is estimated at about US$2 billion annually. The Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostics (AICD), which made this estimate, points out that more than half of this investment is being recovered by the energy sector. A few years earlier, the Senegalese government defined an energy access policy through the Takkal plan, which was implemented between 2011 and 2015. An initiative that seems to have borne fruit, because in 2017, Senelec achieved a turnover of CFAF 396 billion for a total energy production of 4000 GW/h. Senelec has an installed capacity of nearly 878Mw. The energy availability rate, which had peaked at 56% in 2011, rose to 85.5% in 2017.

Senegal has one of the best solar energy potentials in the world, with an average of 5.5 kWh/m2/day on the ground of gross solar energy. Its annual insolation level is estimated at 394 trillion kWh. These are natural assets that Senegal wants to exploit to ensure universal access to electricity throughout the country.

Luchelle Feukeng



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