In an interview with The East Africa, Gabriel Negatu, The African Development Bank regional director-general provided details on how East Africa will benefit from the new Japan-Africa Energy Initiative supporting the New Deal for Africa.
Announced in early July this year, the $6 billion initiative of Japan in partnership with the African Development, is seeking “to support the small and medium players who want to join the regional energy sector under Japan’s Light up and Power Africa initiative which aims to enable regional countries achieve universal access to energy by 2025, using available energy sources and the most advanced technologies.
These funds are a mix of concessional, non-concessional and grant. The AfDB will take the lead in project development in consultation with regional member countries but within the initiative’s guidelines.”
Japan will provide the funds and technical support for the implementation. The use of Japanese energy technologies into the region’s energy projects are not a pre-condition.
As for the projects to be supported, AfDB sees the initiative “to support the full range of activities associated with public and private sector energy projects, ranging from preparation to construction and operations, through a mix of financing and technical assistance. We will not give any sector undue priority but will support all. The goal will be achieved, either through public or private sectors.
We hope that through this initiative, we will accelerate the provision of electricity across Africa, including through the best available low-emissions clean coal technologies.”, so Gabriel Negatu.
While the funding assistance seems to be relative wide open to energy technology, it talks about high-efficiency coal-fired plants, but also specifically mentioning geothermal plants, solar and wind power projects.
It will be interesting how geothermal projects in the region can benefit from the initiative and – also importantly – how it will be open to non-Japanese technology providers.