The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has given their approval for the Eastern Electricity Highway Project connecting the electrical grids of Kenya and Ethiopia.

The project seeks to create a power-sharing arrangement between the two countries leading to reduces energy costs, sustainable and renewable power generation and better protection of the the region’s environment.

Governments of Ethiopia, Kenya assisted by the World Bank besides African Development Bank (AfDB), and the French Agence Française de Développement (AFD) are providing funding for the project which will eventually cost about $1.3bn.

The World Bank financing to both governments – $243m for Ethiopia and $441m to Kenya will come from the International Development Association.

The new project is the first phase of the project and paves the way for more dynamic regional cooperation between the countries of East Africa.