EU programme to provide energy to 2 million Africans

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The 95 million pound funded programme will see 16 new energy projects unleashed across nine African countries and will include hydro, solar, wind and biomass solutions.

The project, which was announced at the New Business Models for Bringing Sustainable Energy to the Energy Poor event in New York, will focus on improving access to affordable and sustainable energy services in rural areas.

 “These innovative projects are a real step forward in terms of bringing energy to some of the most remote and poor areas in Africa. The benefits of rural electrification are manifold by connecting people to clean energy, we’ll improve healthcare, education, and opportunities to make a living in the area,” said Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner of the European Commission Development.

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Among the projects include a hydroelectric solution in the Ludewa District in Tanzania which will provide energy to 20 villages. Over 4000 households, 43 primary and secondary schools and 500 small businesses and farmers will benefit from the project.

Also, an eco-electrification project is set to be implemented in Burkina Faso and aims to reach 100,000 people, health centres and schools.

(READ MORE: Energy generation a key focus for Africa’s growth)

The EU stated that the electrification programme is only part of the EU’s efforts to tackle energy poverty and creating a sustainable environment for growth.

“The EU aims to allocate more than 3 billion euro worth of grants in the 2014 to 2020 financial period to support sustainable energy projects in about 30 countries that see energy as a focal sector for development. This will leverage between 15 and 30 billion euro in loans and equity investment, thus enabling to plug the gaps in energy infrastructure projects and power businesses, schools, homes and hospitals,” said the EU in a statement.

(READ MORE: US working to power Africa’s electricity goals)

According to the union, about 1.3 billion people have no access to electricity while more than 2.6 billion rely on solid fuels such as traditional biomass and coal for cooking and heating.

Currently, the union stated that their infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa as part of the EU’s Sustainable Energy for All programme is already delivering results.   

(WATCH VIDEO: DBSA and EU to launch fund for infrastructure development)

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