The African Development Bank has validated a study report on enhancing regional and sub-regional power projects to enhance energy access and integration across the continent.
The report, entitled ‘Regional and sub-Regional Power Project Acceleration Programme,’was validated at a three-day workshop organised in collaboration with the Africa Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) on the sidelines of the 2019 Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Week. This year’s PIDA theme was: “Positioning Africa to deliver on Agenda 2063 and economic integration through multi-sectoral approaches to infrastructure development”.
Across the African continent, high-priority regional and sub-regional projects have often stalled because they are considered commercially unviable or un-bankable. The programme intends to boost private investments, enhance cross border power trading, and expand regional integration by accelerating the resolution of technical, legal, regulatory, financial, procurement, environmental and social issues for large-scale projects in Africa.
Among the Bank’s recommendations is the development of a Power Infrastructure Project Evaluation (PIPE) tool kit to be used in screening and prioritizing potential projects for possible technical assistance and funding support. It also recommended the establishment of regional power infrastructure project acceleration units (RPAUs).
“To overcome the diverse constraints in Africa’s power sector, the African Development Bank launched the Regional and sub-Regional Power Project Acceleration Programme. It provides incentives for development finance institutions to mobilise financing for the power sector through regional and sub-regional connectivity”, said Angela Nalikka, the Bank’s Manager for National and Regional Power Systems.
“We want to facilitate the bankability of selected high priority regional power projects and mobilize financing through the development of innovative regional infrastructure funding concepts for the Bank, and other development finance institutions”, Nalikka added.
In 2018, Africa Energy Ministers directed AUDA-NEPAD to champion the development of a Continental Transmission Masterplan together with other partners on the continent. The Master Plan will inform some of the energy projects under the PIDA Priority Action Plan 2 (2021-2030).
The Regional and Sub-regional Project Acceleration Program (RSPAP) study report is aligned with the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa which aspires to add 160GW of power generation capacity to contribute to universal energy access in the continent by 2030. The report is to be integrated into the Continental Power System Master Plan, where the developed Power Infrastructure Project Evaluation (PIPE) tool Kit and innovative financing mechanisms will be applied.