World Bank Approves $325m to Strengthen Cameroon’s Electricity Network

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Cameroon will receive a $325 million International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan from the World Bank to strengthen its national electricity transmission network.

The funds will assist the newly-created National Electricity Transport Company SONATREL to fully operationalize and in its capacity building activities during the first years of its operations.

The first component of the project will help SONATREL in efficient operations, while the second one will improve the capacity and reliability of Cameroon’s national electricity transmission network by financing priority investments to upgrade and extend the national transmission networks and strengthen the reliability of power supply in the interconnected systems.

The third component will finance technical assistance, analytical work, and capacity building in support to key sector stakeholders and also ensure the provision of needed technical, financial, operational, and fiduciary assistance to SONATREL’s Project Implementation Unit (PIU) for the implementation of the project.

The need and pressure for electricity is high in Cameroon as only 74 per cent of its population has direct access to electricity.

With power supply and reliability identified as impediments to economic growth, the World Bank Country Director for Cameroon Elisabeth Huybens said this project will help establish a predictable environment for future growth and competitiveness in Cameroon.

It will enable power transfer from new hydropower plants and energy surplus from regions to towns and villages in under-served areas as well as improve the supply quality in urban areas.

Additional transmission capacity created under the proposed project will help increase productivity and spur economic growth, benefitting electricity consumers and country’s population as a whole.

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