Standard Bank Group to increase investments in ‘Power Africa’ initiative

lightbulb-jasmeschew-flickrStandard Bank Group will accelerate its investments in the ‘Power Africa’ initiative over the next five years

The bank had earlier committed to arrange US$150mn of debt in the near term across the countries that are a part of ‘Power Africa’. However, it has now agreed to provide US$400mn with principal portions of the money being diverted to projects in Kenya and Nigeria.

Sim Tshabalala, chief executive of Standard Bank Group, said, “Standard Bank Group will strive to arrange or underwrite at least half of the debt required for these projects. As such, our commitment to ‘Power Africa’ is to help fund an additional US$600mn of debt through 2018.”

Standard Bank Group officials have stated that they expect more than US$1bn in commercial projects to be realised across the six ‘Power Africa’ partner countries by 2018, and around US$5bn worth projects from the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.

Among the projects that are coming up under the ‘Power Africa’ banner, the Ghana Power Compact (GPC) is the largest. It will handle six projects across three areas — distribution, generation and access to clean energy, according to Standard Bank Group officials. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has decided to invest up to US$498mn over the next five years while the government of Ghana will contribute an additional US$37mn to the GPC.

”GPC will make a significant contribution towards putting the country on a sustainable long-term economic growth path and Standard Bank will use its presence in Ghana to support the Power Africa Initiative as well as other power projects across the continent,” added Tshabalala.

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