The loan approved by AFDB is said to align with the New Deal on Energy for Africa and is expected to help the two African countries to increase power supplies significantly and sustain economic growth.

A partnership-driven effort, the New Deal on Energy for Africa aims at achieving universal access to energy in the continent by 2025. According to AFDB, over 600 million people are yet to get access to electricity.

The bank has committed $265m for Morocco where two solar power plants named NOORM I and NOORM II with a combined capacity of 800MW will be developed through a public-private partnership (PPP).

The solar plants once connected to the national grid will cover the electricity needs of over two million people in the country while significantly bringing down CO2 emissions.

In Côte d’Ivoire, the AFDB bank has allocated a loan of $59m for the 44MW Singrobo-Ahouaty hydropower project to be built on the Bandama River.

AFDB president Akinwumi Adesina said: “These approvals demonstrate once again the Bank’s leadership on renewable energy in Africa.

“These projects will be essential to achieving the countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. I believe this sends a strong message ahead of the One Planet Summit on Climate next week in Paris”.

AFDB says that the approval of the new renewable projects underlines its focus on clean energy in Africa where its investments in 2017 have helped in creation of additional generation capacity of 1.4GW from clean energy sources.

Image: AFDB to support two solar projects in Morocco and a hydro project in Côte d’Ivoire. Photo: courtesy of African Development Bank Group.