21 August 2013 - At the end of July 2013, the World Bank approved a US$50 million International Development Association (IDA) credit to support Burkina Faso's efforts to improve the reliability of electricity supply, increase access to electricity in the country's fast-growing cities, and spread the use of renewable energy sources in certain rural areas.

"Burkina Faso has made steady strides in developing its electricity capacity and connecting people in cities and rural areas to power," Mercy Miyang Tembon, World Bank country director for Burkina Faso, says. "We are happy to continue supporting the government's efforts to improve its energy security, so that poor people can have increased access to education and jobs, and benefit more from economic growth."

This funding will cover Burkina Faso’s electricity sector support project and support the government's strategy for accelerated growth and sustainable development for 2011 to 2015.  The electricity sector support project includes the construction of two turnkey power stations of at least 7.5 MW each in FadaN'gourma and Ouahigouya, two remote cities in Burkina Faso with fast-growing economic development.

"With a 14% electrification rate and an electricity demand increasing at a rate close to 10% a year, it is necessary for Burkina Faso to complement longer term West African Power Pool regional programs, by providing generation and securing energy supply in two cities with fast growing economic development and by increasing access in rural areas," Jamal Saghir, World Bank director of sustainable development for the Africa region, says.

"The scale-up of energy connections and the construction of new power plants will enhance the security and reliability of electricity supply, improve the country's overall economic growth and add to the everyday quality of life for thousands of people."

The funds will also support the expansion of the electric grid and the installation of power connections for about 40 communities through existing and new transmission lines. Additionally, the project will finance investments aimed at promoting rational and efficient use of energy and energy studies to develop Burkina Faso’s hydroelectric potential. The project will also support the purchase and distribution of some 25,000 lanterns for public schools in off-grid communities in the context of the Lighting Africa program.