The Norwegian Government has granted the Green Africa Power (GAP) initiative US$41 million to drive privately-owned renewable energy projects in Africa, Bloomberg reported.

With an estimated 700 million people living without access to power in Africa, the GAP project was designed to offer long term credit facilities to private renewable energy projects in Africa in efforts to reduce the growing number of countries with low electrification rates.

According to Borge Brende, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, ‘the continent is in urgent need of investmenrenewable-energy-02t in renewable energy’.

Additional funding will be provided by the UK Department for International Development (DIFD) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) increasing total funding to US$189 million in all. Funds will be dispersed in the first quarter of 2015, renews reported.

Vivian Nicoli, partner at GAP consultant, Eiser Infrastructure Partners LLP emphasised the importance which renewable energy plays in uplifting the overall economic conditions of a region.

‘Renewable energy investment can make a substantial difference to the economic development of Africa, so it is fantastic news that the Norwegian government has decided to back GAP’s cause’, Nicoli said.