Following a trip to Mozambique and Malawi, African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Akinwumi Adesina, visited Pretoria, South Africa, earlier this week to strengthen and uphold the Bank’s relationship with strategic partners.

Discussions included exploring new areas of cooperation and strengthening cooperation in key sectors such as energy and food security.

The Bank has developed ‘The New Deal on Energy for Africa’ and plans to create an energy sector fund of $12 billion over the next five years; and further mobilise around $50 billion from the private sector, to ensure universal access to electricity in Africa by 2025, the Bank said in a statement.

AfDB President received by SA top brass

Received by an entourage of national heads, including South African President, Jacob Zuma, Adesina was welcomed by the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Lesetja Kganyago; CEO of the NEPAD Business Foundation, Lynette Chen; the country’s Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat Petterson; the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown; the Senior Policy Advisor, Association of Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA), Steven Smith; the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan; and the CEOs of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Eskom, Transnet, Landbank and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

Visit to Medupi

Adesina was invited on an exclusive tour of the Medupi green-field coal-fired power plant, located west of Lephalale, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Comprised of six units with a gross nominal capacity of 800MW each, resulting in a total capacity of 4,800MW, the plant is said to be the fourth largest coal plant in the southern hemisphere, and the biggest dry-cooled power station in the world once completed.

The Bank said that it supports the project, which is forecast to have an operational life of 50 years, through a facility of EUR 1.86 billion ($2 billion) that was signed in December 2009.

Adesina said: “I’m delighted to be here to discover this huge African coal plant. Energy is like blood for human beings. We need to boost energy production to help African countries’ economies to develop and to improve the quality of life of our populations.”

Tackling issue of climate change

“As an African response to the climate change challenge, Eskom and the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed, in September 2011, two loan agreements for a total value of $365 million to enable the first large-scale implementation of renewable wind and solar generation in Eskom’s history,” the Bank explained.

The loans include $265 million, a direct resource from the Bank, and $100 million from the resources of the Clean Technology Fund, a climate investment fund that promotes the transfer of low carbon technologies.

The Bank further explained: “The AfDB financing was part of a broader funding plan for Eskom’s renewable projects, which includes sourcing from other development finance agencies.

“AfDB loans to Eskom have reinforced the extent to which institutions based on the African continent can provide financial support to projects, which fosters regional growth.”

 

Home page pic credit: The African Development Bank (AfDB)