With only 14% of the population with access to electricity, Madagascar is high on the priority list for the World Bank Group.

Last week, the World Bank Vice President for Africa, Makhtar Diop, confirmed the Bank’s commitment to support Madagascar with $1.3 billion over the next three years, as pledged in Paris last December during the international donors conference.

Diop made this announcement during a courtesy call to the President of the Republic of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, SAT PR News reported.

World Bank to increase power access

Diop said: “The World Bank will work with the government to improve two critical development factors: human development and access to energy.

“This will entail scaling up nutrition for children and expanding electricity access to a greater percentage of the Malagasy population.”

President Hery Rajaonarimampianina expressed his government’s appreciation, noting: “I welcome the continued and tangible support of the World Bank to help improve the social and economic development of Madagascar.

“I am very pleased that the commitments announced in Paris have begun to materialise into action through projects.”

Parties involved

According to media, the discussion was attended by ministers of finances and budget, Gervais Rakotoarimanana, economy and planning, Herilanto Raveloharison, and the Governor of the Central Bank, Alain Rasolofondraibe.

In addition, the World Bank Country Director for Madagascar, Mark Lundell, and World Bank Country Manager for Madagascar, Coralie Gevers, were also all present at the meeting.

Renewable developments

With low electrification rates, the renewables sector could help improve the current situation.

A region rich in hydro resources, Vassilis Koutras, managing director for Francophone countries for Dominovas Energy, a US-based power solutions firm, said that the country’s hydro potential is high and developments are looking promising.

“Madagascar’s hydro potential of 7,000MW represents a tremendous opportunity for Dominovas Energy and signifies a leap forward for Madagascar. Madagascar is one of our top priorities for development and operation of multiple power projects,” Koutras noted in a statement late last year.