The African Development Bank (AfDB), in charge of spurring sustainable economic development and social progress within its regional member countries, has planned to continue its ongoing support for renewable energy projects in 2018 through its New Deal on Energy for Africa.
This deal is the result of a partnership between the AfDB, Governments, the private and public sector to facilitate innovative energy financing and unify the various initiatives aiming to facilitate Africa’s access to energy sources. This is a welcome initiative since African children under-perform in school due to 90% of their primary schools lack access to electricity, 600 million African women and children die annually due to indoor air pollution associated with the use of fuel wood for cooking, and power shortages cost the continent some 2-4% of GDP annually. For companies in countries like Tanzania and Ghana, these power outages result in a loss of value on sales by about 15%. Access to a reliant, renewable and secure energy source has therefore crucial implications such as economic growth, employment creation, improved population health and education.