- The World Bank has approved $50 million grant for Cote D’Ivoire for the improvement and expansion of the already existing, but weak electricity infrastructure in the West African state.
The grant is also expected to address the institutional reforms needed to improve the poor financial and technical performance of the Ivorian power sector.
The Bank’s communiqué said the grant will be targeted to specific areas to enhance performance of electricity distribution, as well as the access of low-income citizens to electricity to a larger part of the capital Abidjan and other smaller cities in the western region.
The project will also provide support to the government to prepare the transmission projects needed to be implemented in the medium term to ensure that the Ivorian power system will be able to meet the recent acceleration in electricity demand.
The statement said the project will also provide support to the government of Côte d’Ivoire to implement its energy policies, particularly those aimed at restoring the financial viability of the electricity sector.
The Country Director for Côte d'Ivoire, Madani M Tall, said the grant will build up to government’s promises, further saying the grant comes at a time when peace is consolidating with strong signals for economic recovery.
“Power being a strategic fuel for industry, the support the Bank will provide through this project will help and prevent major risks that could impact negatively on the economy as a whole,” the director said.
The Director said specific access financing scheme and better technical performance of the utility expected from this project will improve the quality of life of Ivorians.
About 60,000 new household connections are expected to be made under the project, which will also bring about a better quality of supply for around 227,000 existing customers.
A revolving fund will be set up to assist low income households obtain a legal connection to the public electricity supply system, according to the Bank statement.
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