AfDB trust fund to support clean energy project in Mali

windpower-mrnixter-flickrSustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), the bilateral trust fund of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has approved a US$530,000 grant to co-fund a renewable energy project in Mali

The renewable energy project is called PAPERM and is part of Mali’s Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program (SREP). SEFA will finance policy, legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks for the project. It will also get involved with capacity building initiatives for those keen on developing, financing and operating clean energy projects in Mali.

The PAPERM project focuses on improving policies, focusing on capacity building and knowledge management, and strengthening monitoring and evaluation processes of the clean energy sector in Mali. Only 30 per cent of the West African nation currently has access to power.

Alex Rugamba, director of energy, environment and climate change in AfDB, said, ”Mali must improve its policy, legal and regulatory framework. Eventually, renewable energy will be seen as a viable option for reducing the country’s dependence on thermal generation and effectively lower the electricity retail tariff.”

Mali’s Energy Ministry has agreed to be the executing agency with the PAPERM project, scheduled to be completed in by 2017. During the course of the project, the AfDB will support the Ministry in preparing and implementing activities, channelling SREP funding, and raising funds to scale up renewable energy investment in the country.

In addition, AfDB is also involved in the development of a mini hydroelectricity project and a solar photovoltaic (PV) independent power producer project in Mali to boost SREP’s programme.

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