World Bank approves funds for Comoros power sector

power  james jhsThe World Bank has approved a US$5mn grant to support power transmission and distribution in Comoros, the third-smallest African nation by area

The Comoros government will direct the funds in its efforts to shore up the commercial management and financial performance of a state-owned power utility, reduce power costs and improve the reliability of electricity delivered to residents on the islands of Grande Comore and Moheli.

The funding will support Comoros’ Electricity Sector Recovery Project, a priority in the government’s energy sector strategy designed to reform corporate governance and commercial and technical management of Gestion de l'Eau et de l'Electricité aux Comores (MA-MWE), which provides electricity to the islands of Grande Comore and Moheli.

World Bank country director for Comoros Haleh Bridi said, “Comoros faces inherent difficulties in fuel transport and lacks economies of scale for power generation, which puts serious constraints on economic progress and poverty eradication.

“The World Bank funds will support infrastructure improvements and overall commercial and financial management of the energy sector.”

The project has three components. The first will help bring commercial, financial and technical support to MA-MWE by financing new senior managers to lead the commercial and financial restructuring of the utility, the funds will also support the purchase of new network and fuel metering equipment.

The second component will strengthen the energy sector institutions, such as the ministry in charge of energy and the department of energy, by helping to define and implement an energy policy. The final component will include funds for overall project management.

World Bank director of sustainable development for Africa Jamal Saghir said, “Electricity is only available for approximately six hours per day in most of Grande Comore while consumers located in the capital city of Moroni have unreliable electricity supply for most of the day.

“The funds will help boost Comoros’ efforts to improve electricity supply, opening the door for new businesses and creating jobs and improved living conditions for households in the island nation.”

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