The initiative by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to electrify millions of households in Africa has been backed by the United Nations (UN) in a bid to ensure the success of the electricity project.
The UN supported the initiative during a meeting with the AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, in New York. Representing the UN at the dialogue was UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.
The electricity project was created to provide electricity to 250 million people in Africa. The initiative tagged, ‘Desert to Power’, is a $10 billion project. The capital has been earmarked to build a 10 GW solar zone across the Sahel, and to provide solar energy by 2025 and supply green electricity to millions of Africans.
Where is the Sahel?: Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south. Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the south-central latitudes of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea.
Why the project must succeed: In simple terms, both Adesina and Guterres said the initiative to power Africa must succeed or risk failing globally. Both multilateral leaders also emphasised the need for deeper collaboration between their institutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Secretary General Guterres and I had a highly productive engagement and committed to enhancing strategic and operational partnerships between the UN and the AfDB.
“I am encouraged by the Secretary General’s generous support for the bank’s development initiatives, which we are certain will bear fruit across the continent.”
Adesina also informed the Secretary-General about the bank’s General Capital Increase designed to address Africa’s growing lending demands.
Meanwhile, Guterres said he’s committed to advocating for the mobilisation of adequate resources in order to further the bank’s development goals. Both parties also agreed to strengthen ties and push the development agenda in Africa.