Benin Republic deploys huge $21m ECOWAS bank loan for solar electrification of 750 rural communities
London, March 11, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The government of Benin Republic is deploying a huge $21m loan from the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) to finance the electrification of seven hundred and fifty (750) rural community infrastructures in the country, using solar photovoltaic systems.
The project is to be implemented in eleven (11) of Benin’s twelve (12) departments, namely Alibori, Atacora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Couffo, Donga, Mono, Ouémé, Plateau and Zou involve three hundred and thirty-six (336) health centres,
Others include one hundred and eighty-four (184) security centres and two hundred and thirty (230) general education colleges to be solar powered as part of the effort to improve the quality of basic social services in the areas, and ensure energy autonomy and uninterrupted service of the facilities.
Ultimately, the project is expected to increase access to clean energy, provide the power required to run community infrastructure of the beneficiary localities, strengthen the capacity of management, operation and maintenance structures for the sustainability of off-grid facilities.
EBID’s support is consistent with the ECOWAS master plan for rural and peri-urban electrification (universal access to energy, energy security and the need to make clean and renewable energy accessible to all). Furthermore, the project is in line with Benin’s Strategic Energy Development Plan, particularly the rural electrification component which aims to achieve an electrification rate of between 79 and 92% by 2035.
This significantly contributes to meeting the electricity demand of the country’s community infrastructure considering that the lack of access to modern energy services such as electricity and the high cost of these services have been identified as one of the main obstacles to poverty reduction and achievement of the sustainable development goals in Africa.