World Bank

World Bank’s $500mln Loan to Improve Electricity Access in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – The World Bank said it has approved a $500 million International Development Association (IDA) credit to support Ethiopia’s goal of achieving universal electricity access by 2025.

Over the past decade, the Government of Ethiopia has made encouraging progress on its electrification program and expanded the grid network coverage to nearly 60 percent of towns and villages.

Despite this progress, Ethiopia has the third-largest energy access deficit in Sub-Saharan Africa with more than half the population still without access to reliable electricity.

The deficit is even higher in deep-rural areas where people are dependent on biomass and kerosene.

In a statement Monday, the Bank said the electricity deficit in Ethiopia continues to exacerbate the poverty situation, preventing far too many people from fulfilling their basic socio-economic needs and limiting access to opportunity.

The latest fund will finance the government’s Access to Distributed Electricity and Lighting in Ethiopia (ADELE) Project – an important component of Ethiopia’s National Electrification Program (NEP).

“With a goal of providing electricity services for nearly 5 million people, 11,500 enterprises, and 1,400 health and education facilities, the project represents the World Bank’s continued support to the Government of Ethiopia’s NEP,” said Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, on Monday.

It “is aligned with our commitment to support Ethiopia’s resilient recovery from the COVID 19 pandemic. It is also an important step towards improving service delivery and addressing drivers of fragility and conflict,” he added.

ADELE’s key features include the deployment of innovative solutions such as decentralized renewable energy technologies, particularly solar photovoltaic (PV) mini-grids and individual solar systems for both household and productive use.

The project will be deployed through a combined approach of public and private delivery modalities that further enhance affordability and inclusion.

The ADELE project will be implemented by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Electricity, the Ethiopian Electric Utility, and the Development Bank of Ethiopia.