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African leaders endorse AfDB’s ‘New Deal on Energy’

African Development Bank (AFDB) “New Deal on Energy,”  a vehicle through which the continental bank plans to invest in  delivering electricity across the 54 African countries by 2025,  has recieved the blessing of Nigeria and other member states.  The Daily Times reports that the endorsement of the new deal  on energy and aggressive road map toward curtailing the  effects of climate change remains the epicenter of the ongoing  AFDB on going annual general meeting in Lusaka, Zambia.  Rwanda President Paul Kagame and his Kenyan counterpart  Uhuru Kenyatta, announced the endorsement unbehalf of  African leaders while appearing on CNBC-Africa television  programme with AFDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina.  Sharing their ideas on the “path to universal access to energy  in Africa by 2025”, the two leaders commended AFDB and  Adesina for proactive leadership.

“This New Deal on Energy is a big deal for Africa,” kagame  said adding that it provides a new momentum in the ongoing  efforts to transform Africa.  In his own contributions, Kenyatta said that the “New Deal”,  would fast track the ability of Africa to effectively utilisation  of its potential in renewable energy.  “We have heard and had enough of the theory. It is now time  for practical engagement by supporting the AfDB to leverage  Africa’s huge potential,” Kenyatta said.  Speaking also, Adesina said that Kagame and Kenyatta  represent what Africa needs currently, the political will to  translate Africa’s potential into tangible benefits for its  people.  “Money is not the key. Political will is all we need to get  things done,” Adesina added.  Adesina argued that while Africa has a lot of energy potential,  industries don’t run on potential, they run on energy.  According to him, AFDB has pledged to commit 12 billion  dollars over the next five years to invest in energy, as part of  the banks plans to ensure access to electricity across the  continent by 2025.  Avaliable statistics showed that only 16 per cent of Africans  are connected to some sort of energy source while more than  645 million Africans having no access to electricity.

The data also indicates that over 700 million don’t have  access to clean energy for cooking.  As a priority, Adesina unveiled the AFDB five priority areas,  tagged the “High 5s”on which the bank will focus during his  leadership.  Specifically, the areas of focus include energy, agriculture,  industrialisation, Integration of the 54 member countries and the  improvement of the quality of life of the average African.  “Africa is simply tired of being in the dark. Our goal is clear;  universal access to energy for Africa within 10 years,”  Adesina added.  The goals include expanding grid-power by 160 Giggawatts,  connect 130 million people to grid, another 75 million people  connected to off-grid sources, and 150 million households to  clean cooking energy.

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