Burkina Faso gets EIB backing for renewable power project

The European Investment Bank (EIB) confirmed €38.5 million ($46.5 million) of new financial and technical support to transform renewable power generation in Burkina Faso and better protect its capital city from future flooding.

The new clean energy and climate adaptation projects will improve access to energy in the country and address public health challenges and economic risks caused by extreme weather.

The latest EIB support for climate action in the Sahel was announced by Ambroise Fayolle, European Investment Bank Vice-President.

“New investment to improve access to energy and better protect against climate change is essential for social and economic progress in Burkina Faso, the Sahel and Africa. The European Investment Bank has been a key partner for Burkina Faso for more than 50 years providing financial support and sharing unique global technical expertise for priority investment in our country. Today’s new agreements will scale up renewable energy generation and better protect our capital city Ouagadogou from future floods and extreme weather and protect our citizens from malaria.” said M. Lassané Kaboré, minister of the economy, finance and development of Burkino Faso.

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“Citizens of Ouagadougou face the impact of a changing climate on a daily basis. Support and technical expertise from the EIB, AFD and the EU will help to better protect Ougadougou from future floods, reduce the risk to live and property and improve access to key services during heavy rains,” said Armand Roland Pierre Béouindé, Mayor of Ouagadougou.

Fayolle said the European Investment Bank has supported long-term investment in Burkina Faso since 1970 and is committed to strengthening economic opportunities, supporting sustainable development and accelerating climate action across the Sahel.

“As the EU climate bank and a member of Team Europe, the EIB is pleased to back Sonabel’s first solar power plant that will transform renewable energy generation in Burkina Faso and to support investment to better protect thousands of people in Ouagadougou from floods. Cooperation between Burkinabé partners and AFD, the European Union and the EIB is unlocking priority investment that highlights the social, economic and public health impact of climate action in Africa,” said Fayolle.

Also commenting on the development, European Union Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Wolfram Vetter, said: “Team Europe is committed to delivering sustainable development in Burkina Faso and Africa and strengthening cooperation with African partners. This new agreement will enable thousands of people in Burkina Faso to benefit from more reliable access to clean energy and address flood risks.”

The EIB will provide the funding to the solar power plant operated by national electricity authority Sonabel. The backing will help expand the capacity of the plant from 37MW today to 50MW.

The €70.5 million scheme will increase domestic electricity production to address the 10% annual increase in demand and reduce the need for imports. Electricity supply in Burkina Faso is currently restricted by the limited interconnector capacity used to import power from Cote d’Ivoire.

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Climate change mitigation

More than 24,000 homes were destroyed and 150,000 properties damaged by recent floods. New investment backed by the EIB and Agence Française de Développement will construct a 5km water evacuation channel and improve flood protection in the Tanghin district of Ouagadougou.

The new scheme will protect property, improve public health by reducing waterborne diseases including malaria and improve access to key services, including schools and markets, during seasonal rains.