New World Bank financing to increase access to electricity

WASHINGTON DC June 3, 2021 – Almost 400,000 Zanzibaris will have access to new or improved electricity services, while the islands will also experience a reduction in annual unplanned system outages and associated losses, thanks to new funding from the International Development Association ( IDA *) approved today by the World Bank.

Zanzibar has made modest progress in reducing the population living below the poverty line since 2010 but, like everywhere else in the world, this achievement is being tested by the COVID-19 pandemic, ” World Bank Country Director Mara Warwick said. “With a median age of 17 and only 57 percent of citizens with current access to electricity, investments in energy are urgently needed to help improve human capital, remove constraints to more jobs. many and better and improve productivity.. “

Funding of $ 142 million for the Zanzibar Energy Sector Transformation and Access Project (ZESTA), whose development objectives are to expand access to reliable and efficient electricity services and increase the production of renewable energy in archipelago, includes a $ 117 million IDA loan, a $ 22 million Clean Technology Fund (CTF) loan, and a $ 3 million CTF grant.

ZESTA supports investments in renewable energy production, strengthening of the electricity grid and increasing access to energy to support Zanzibar’s goals of universal access to electricity and energy development renewable. These investments and institutional strengthening activities supported under the project will help lay the groundwork for future intensification of renewable energy production through private sector participation in Zanzibar., ” said Kabir Malik, senior economist of the World Bank and head of the task force.

Investments under the project will also contribute to broader goals related to gender and climate resilience. The project will support improved career opportunities for women in Zanzibar’s energy sector and help build climate resilience both in terms of mitigation and adaptation, by supporting Zanzibar’s climate change strategy., “ said Mbuso Gwafila, Senior Energy Specialist at the World Bank and Task Team Leader.

ZESTA, the World Bank’s first commitment to Zanzibar’s energy sector, is to be implemented by the Ministry of Water, Energy and Minerals, the Zanzibar Electricity Corporation (ZECO) and the Zanzibar Utilities Regulatory Authority , and is structured in three components:

  • The development of renewable energy and storage infrastructure will develop the island’s first grid-scale renewable energy production plant and battery storage infrastructure. The public photovoltaic solar power plant will help meet the growing demand for electricity in the short term, while paving the way for a future intensification of electricity production from renewable energies, notably through the participation of the private sector.
  • Grid modernization and access scaling will resolve the main constraints of Unguja’s power grid and finance investments in line with ZECO’s latest electrification master plan. It will enable increased penetration of variable renewable energy generation, improve the reliability of electricity supply, reduce losses and expand access to electricity to previously unserved communities and vulnerable households.
  • Institutional strengthening and support for project implementation will help build capacity for modernization and growth of the sector, and will also ensure that executing agencies have adequate capacity to facilitate successful and sustainable exploitation of investments.

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, assists the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and loans at low-to-zero interest rates for projects and programs that stimulate economic growth, reduce poverty and improve the lives of the poor. IDA is one of the most important sources of assistance for the 76 poorest countries in the world, including 39 in Africa. IDA resources are bringing positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged around $ 21 billion over the past three years, of which around 61% is in Africa.

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