The African Development Fund (AfDB) has approved a $34.74m grant and loan to boost renewable energy access and promote an attractive investment climate in Liberia. At a signing ceremony in Monrovia earlier this year, AfDB Liberia country manager Dr Orison Amu, and Liberia minister of finance and development planning Samuel Tweah Jr signed financing agreements for two projects.
Image source: African Development Bank Group (AfDB)
Under the first project, the Renewable Energy for Electrification in Liberia, more than $33m, primarily in the form of a grant from the bank and the Strategic Climate Fund’s Scaling-up Renewable Energy programme, is to support renewable energy sector growth.
The funds will go towards construction of a mini dam on the St. John River in Nimba County in northeastern Liberia and the development of the Gbedin Hydropower Falls with a total capacity of 9.34MW of power, to be transmitted through an 8km, 33kV line connecting 7,000 households.
The system would allow for grid expansion to isolated communities and support the connection of schools, health centres, businesses and industries to the national grid, increasing the rural electrification rate in Liberia.
Tweah Jr said the project, scheduled for completion by 2024, would help unlock one of the main constraints to economic development – access to a reliable, affordable and sustainable supply of electricity.
The second project – Support to Investment Promotion Agencies in Transition Countries – received approval for an additional $1m to assist in promoting business investment in Liberia and building the capacity of the National Investment Commission. The funds will come from the AfDB’s Transition Support Facility.