(Business in Cameroon) - The Executive Directors of the World Bank approved, on March 11, 2021, additional financing of $22.5 million (about XAF12.3 billion), for the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP). This fund complements the $217.2 million (XAF119.3 billion) already approved (in April 2019) and provided by the IDA and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF).
The project is to be implemented in 19 Central and West African countries. They are namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Cameroon, and Mauritania. It is aimed at developing off-grid solar systems on the black continent.
"Off-grid solar systems have strong commercial potential in West and Central Africa, including Sahel countries, but the region is struggling to attract sufficient investment in these off-grid solutions. This new funding will help meet the growing demand for reliable sources of electricity and create jobs for the millions of people currently without electricity or suffering from the irregular supply, as well as businesses and public institutions that can rely on modern stand-alone solar systems to improve living standards and expand economic activity," said Deborah Wetzel, director of regional integration for sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and North Africa.
In Cameroon, this project will not only improve the electricity access rate (about 62% in 2017 according to World Bank figures cited by a report published by electric utility ENEO in 2018) but also contribute to the diversification of the country's energy mix. Indeed, currently, the country’s energy mix is dominated by hydroelectricity. officially, Hydroelectricity constitutes over 60% of the mix while solar, wind, and biomass that are renewable energy sources with several opportunities constitute barely 1% of the mix.