The African Development Bank approved a loan of US$69.2 million to Côte d’Ivoire on Wednesday, March 25, for a planned electrification project named PROSER I. The funds will be used to expand the West African country’s electrical grid to 1,388 municipalities, 75 percent of which have fewer than 500 inhabitants. The desired end result is for every area of Côte d’Ivoire to have electrical access. PROSER I is part of the larger Programme Nationale d’Électrification Rurale (PRONER), which has a target of constructing 6,460 kilometers of 33 kilovolt lines, 3,419 kilometers of low-voltage lines, and 1,394 rural distribution posts. PROSER I adds thirty-seven additional projects to the African Development Bank’s portfolio in Côte d’Ivoire, totaling US$2.33 billion in investments.
Why It Matters
Rural electrification is a problem faced by even the wealthiest countries, but it is acutely felt throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa. Despite rapid urbanization on the continent, millions of Africans still do not have reliable access to electricity. This contributes to a host of problems, felt more severely by rural communities: it deters investment, as small businesses cannot afford the costs of alternative sources of energy; medical facilities cannot function optimally; and farmers are far less productive than they could be.