The African Development Bank’s ‘Desert to Power’ initiative for Africa, which was designed to electrify millions of households on the continent, has been backed by the United Nations.
In a bid to ensure the success of the project, the United Nations supported the initiative during a meeting with the African Development Bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, in New York. The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres represented the agency at the dialogue.
The project tagged ‘Desert to Power’ is a $10 billion initiative and was created to provide electricity for 250 million people in Africa. The capital has been earmarked to build a 10 GW solar zone across the Sahel, to provide solar energy by 2025 and supply green electricity to millions of Africans.
The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south. Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the south-central latitudes of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea.
Adesina and Guterres said the initiative to power Africa must succeed and emphasised the need for deeper collaboration between their institutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
According to Adesina, “Secretary General Guterres and I had a highly productive engagement and are committed to enhancing strategic and operational partnerships between the United Nations and the African Development Bank. I am encouraged by the Secretary General’s generous support for the Bank’s development initiatives, which we are certain will bear fruit across the continent”.
Adesina also informed the Secretary-General about the bank’s General Capital Increase designed to address Africa’s growing lending demands.