According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), new technology and blended finance will help to bridge the “last mile” of the infrastructure gap in Africa, getting goods and services to end users, and connecting underserved populations to business value chains.

Technology and blended finance to help bridge the African infrastructure last mile

Speaking at the recent Global Infrastructure Forum, Wale Shonibare, AfDB’s Director for Energy Financial Solutions, Policy and Regulation, said the Bank’s commitment to connect millions of households under its New Deal On Energy For Africa required flexibility and innovation from both a technology and financial perspective. “We are looking to connect 200 million households to electricity – 75 million of those will be off-grid,” he said.  

Given the remarkable improvements in the field, Shonibare said there was no doubt as to the role technology could play in its Light Up drive and other key aspects of the Bank’s development agenda. “Smart technologies and creative financing models could facilitate business and inclusiveness, improving livelihoods across the continent.”

According to Shonibare, the first large-scale local currency financing structure using the securitisation technique for the off-grid renewable energy sector in Africa will provide access to approximately 100 000 rural households with pay-as-you-go solar home systems by 2020. This is as a result of a credit guarantee on the part of AfDB in Cote d’Ivoire covering part of a guaranteed loan facility to Zola EDF Côte d'Ivoire, a 50/50 joint venture between Off-Grid Electric (OGE) and EDF.

Energy projects in Rwanda and Nigeria which had obtained Bank approval were additional examples of the Bank partnering with the private sector to bring service to end users in innovative ways, he added.

Speaking at the same event, Sarquis Jose Buainain Srqis, Vice President for Economic Research, Risk and Strategy and Partnerships NDB, warned that the contribution of development banks would still depend on conventional infrastructure such as roads and healthcare access, which is why innovation was particularly essential. Jiang Yang, an entrepreneur from China who has developed a map-based public participation platform focusing on space quality and livelihood issues, added that data would be essential to the process of creating opportunities for doing business inclusiveness, and improving the livelihood of people.

Image credit.


African Fusion

AfricanFusionAfrican Fusion, the official publication of the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW), aims to provide up-to-date insight into welding technology and the welding industry.

Capital Equipment News

Capital Equipment News is dedicated to the application of equipment and modes of transport that are used in the mining, construction, quarrying, and transport industries.

Construction World

ConstructionWorldConstruction World was first published in 1982 and has grown to become a leader in its field, offering a unique mix of editorial coverage to satisfy the diverse needs of its readers.

Electricity + Control

ElectricityandControlE + C publishes innovative, technical articles that provide solutions to engineering challenges in measurement, automation, control, and energy management.

Lighting in Design

LightingandDesignLighting in Design is a glossy, upmarket publication aimed at lighting professionals. It is the only B2B magazine in SA that is dedicated solely to the subject of lighting.

MechChem Africa

MechChemJanuary2017cover MechChem Africa supports African engineering and technical managers across the full spectrum of chemical and mechanical disciplines.

Modern Mining

ModernMiningEstablished in 2005, Modern Mining is one of SA's leading monthly mining magazines, noted for the quality and accuracy of its writing and the breadth of its coverage.

Modern Quarrying

ModernQuarryingModern Quarrying is firmly entrenched as a leading industry-specific magazine. It focuses on promoting the science and practice of quarrying and processing in southern Africa.

Sparks Electrical News

SparksElectricalNewsReadable and informative, Sparks Electrical News is the newspaper for those involved in installing and maintaining electrical supplies and equipment.