Africa50, Green Climate Fund, and AfDB to Develop Solar Projects in the Sahel through the Desert to Power Program

24 May 2018

Busan, South Korea, May 24, 2018 – On the margins of the African Development Bank annual meetings, the heads of Africa50, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed an agreement to collaborate on the Desert to Power Program for solar projects in the Sahel. 

Alain Ebobisse, CEO of Africa50 stressed that, ““Africa50 is about leveraging partnerships to contribute to the continent’s growth through developing and funding high impact private and PPP infrastructure projects. This agreement allows us to leverage our project development capabilities and build a bigger pipeline of bankable projects that will provide millions of people and businesses on the continent with clean and affordable energy.” 

Adding that clean energy is one Africa50’s priorities, he noted that two of the fund’s recent projects are for solar plants, partnering with Norfund and Scatec Solar to provide 400 MW of power in Egypt and 100 MW in Nigeria. 

The Desert to Power initiative led by the AfDB aims to turn Africa’s deserts into new sources of energy. By working with partners to develop 10,000 MW of solar power systems across the Sahel, it will provide electricity to 250 million people, including 90 million off-grid. The initiative will also help protect the Great Green Wall of trees established as a buffer against desertification from being cut down by energy-poor households. 

GCF Executive Director Howard Bamsey stressed that, “Sahel countries have identified the potential of solar power to bring green energy to people across the region. Renewable energy investment is a priority in their Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement and will help tackle climate change.”

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB and Chairman of Africa50 added that, “When completed, this could be the largest solar power system in the world. We have already started with development of a 50 MW solar plant in Burkina Faso.”

The countries that are part of the initiative include Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Senegal, and Sudan, seven of which are Africa50 shareholders.


Media contact:

Fleur Tchibota, Africa50 Head of Communications: +212 666 171 099; 

Category: Press Release