Ify Emelife
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has stated that it plans to invest huge amounts in funding pledges that are aimed at combating climate change in Africa.

During the 31st Session seminar of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee, AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina revealed that the bank wishes to capitalise between $40 and $50 billion in the energy sector across the continent.

The seminar was held in Ethiopia’s capital city Addis Ababa over the weekend, where Adesina added that the AfDB plans to invest $12 billion in the energy sector in the next five years.

He further stated that the bank targets to multiply the funds by $5 billion per year until 2020, all directed towards climate change adaptation in Africa.

Adesina highlighted successful associations the banks has  engaged in such as the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment and the African Union. He also applauded the strong support demonstrated by Germany and France in developing and launching the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative at the COP 21 in Paris.

645 million Africans lack access to electricity

[quote]The AfDB president quoted the drastic numbers, which indicate that over 645 million Africans still lack access to electricity, while 700 million do not have access to clean cooking gas.

He emphasised: “Regular supply of power, which is taken for granted in developed countries, is a luxury in Africa in the 21st Century. Some 137 years after Thomas Edison developed the light bulb, Africa is still in the dark.

“Today, over 645 million Africans do not have access to electricity, and 700 million go without access to clean cooking energy; with 600,000 dying each year from indoor pollution from reliance on biomass for cooking.”

He continued: “Africa is simply tired of being in the dark. It is time to take decisive action and turn around this narrative: to light up and power Africa – and accelerate the pace of economic transformation, unlock the potential of businesses, and drive much needed industrialisation to create jobs.

“The African Development Bank has developed the New Deal on Energy for Africa and launched the Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa, to help light up and power Africa.”

160GW of new generation

Adesina added that the New Deal on Energy for Africa is targeting to accelerate universal access to electricity in Africa by 2025.

“The goal is to add 160GW of new generation capacity via the grid, deliver 130 million new grid connections and 75 million off-grid connections. The ambition is high – and it should be: we must not have low ambitions for Africa”, he concluded.