19 May 2010 – An announcement this week confirms that the World Bank and International Finance Corporation have allocated $12 million for clean energy development in Africa.

The “Lighting Africa” programme focuses on low-cost renewable energy sources distribution.  According to the programme, 700 million African will be without electricity by 2030.

Says Patrick Avato, programme director:  "Today in Africa, people spend more than $10-billion a year on kerosene,"

"People are spending 10% to 30% of their disposable incomes on kerosene. What that is getting them is very low quality light that causes indoor pollution and health problems, apart from significant greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

"Rather than spend $5 every month on kerosene … some (solar-based) products are now less than $25 and once you have bought them their operation is free."

The programme expects to help with sales of 500 000 off grid lighting products by 2012.

"The programme has a budget of around $12-million … we are finalising negotiations to very significantly increase this amount," Avato commented.

Lighting Africa is active in Kenya and Ghana with pilot programme underway in these countries.  It aims to have 2,5 million people in Africa change to renewable alternatives by 2012.