ADB approves US $3.50 million grant for power study

The African Development Fund (ADF), the soft loan arm of the African Development bank, has approved a grant worth US $3.50 million for a study on connecting the electricity grids of the 11 member countries of the Economic Community of Central African States.

The African Development Bank (ADB) reported on Monday that the study would also prepare feasibility reports for priority projects that would lead to the interconnectivity. The electricity network study, the bank said, was also aimed at subregional integration - an objective in line with the ADF's policy to reduce poverty.

[In a report published in 1999 http://poverty.worldbank.org/ the World Bank
said poverty in Burundi was the highest in sub-Sahara Africa, and that rural poverty increased in the country by 80 percent, "with double estimates in urban poverty".]

The ADB said significant progress in connecting the power grids among the states would make electricity cheaper, reinforce subregional stability and help to attract investment without which the economy could not grow and poverty be reduced.

The cost of the study, net of taxes, is estimated at $3.77 million, including $2.91 million in foreign exchange and the ADB Unit of Account equivalent to $0.86 dollars.

The bank also said rural electrification would help generate money by improving transformation, and conservation of produce in the countryside, thereby adding value to these commodities.

"Furthermore, increased access of households to electricity will contribute to improving their living conditions and to the development of their potential with a view to reducing poverty," the bank reported.