AfDB co-funds Mauritania-Mali $900m power project

Alade Abayomi ADeleke
Alade Abayomi ADeleke

The African Development Bank Group, has confirmed its commitment to support a $900 million multinational power transmission line between Mauritania and Mali, connecting 620,000 people to electricity.


The Bank, in a statement on its website, made the commitment with the partners at a roundtable in the Mauritania capital, Nouakchott.


It said the discussions explored funding options for the project, which also entailed developing solar power stations.


The statement read, “AfDB has worked closely with both countries to prepare the project, and affirmed its interest in co-funding.


“The project aligns with the Bank’s Desert-to-Power initiative, which is set to become the world’s largest area of solar power generation.


“The initiative will increase solar production capacity by 100M. It will also strengthen and extend distribution networks covering nearly 1,500 km of high-voltage (225 kV) lines.”


Mauritania’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Abdessalam Saleh, said the strategic nature of the project would have a strong transformative effect on the economy.


Saleh said it would also create a connection to the Senegal River Basin Development Organisation’s grid.


“The project constitutes an essential link in the regional electricity distribution system known as the “trans-Sahel spine,” which is currently being studied.


“It will link Mauritania to Chad, passing through three other landlocked countries; Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali.


“The 225 kV line will connect new renewable energy parks to the sub-region’s power grid “Saleh added.


The AfDB’s Deputy Director-General for North Africa, Malinne Blomberg, said the project would turn AfDB’s policy of supporting the development of green infrastructure in Africa into a reality.


Bloomberg, which is also Country Manager for Mauritania, said it would also promote green, inclusive, sustainable growth, which would significantly improve the living conditions of people in Africa.


She said, “We firmly believe that this project will have a transformative effect on promoting both the private sector and trade and, consequently, create job opportunities.”


Daniel Schroth, AfDB’s Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, said this regional project was a flagship for the sub-region’s energy transition.


He lauded the close cooperation between Mauritania and Mali, as well as technical and financial partners in preparing the project.


AfDB has operated in Mauritania for over 50 years in various strategic development areas.


These include: agriculture, governance, water and sanitation, mining, private sector, transport and social issues, with an active portfolio of more than 140 million dollars.


The Bank Group is also active in several economic sectors in Mali, namely transport, agriculture, energy, water and sanitation, finance, governance, and climate change.


Its current portfolio in the country totals about 723 million dollars.

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