The World Bank has approved an $82 million grant to increase access to electricity in five of the poorest provinces of Mozambique, including Niassa, Nampula, Zambezia, Cabo Delgado and Sofala.
The project is also supported through a $66 million Multi-Donor Trust Fund administered by the Bank. With the potential to benefit about 1.5 million people, this financing will help with the implementation of the Government of Mozambique’s (GoM) Energy for All project, also known as ProEnergia.
“The nexus between poverty and lack of electricity has long been established,” noted Mark Lundell, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique. “This project is part of our multi-pronged approach to poverty reduction by expanding energy access in Mozambique.”
About 70 percent of Mozambicans do not have access to electricity, which is below the average for Sub-Saharan Africa. This project contributes to the implementation of the GoM’s National Electrification Strategy (NES) by broadening electricity access to peri-urban and rural areas and expanding and densifying the existing grid networks as well as promoting the use of off-grid energy solutions in those areas where the grid extension is considered economically unfeasible.
“We will seek to harness economies of scale in existing grid infrastructure,” noted Zayra Romo, the Bank’s task team leader for the project. While the existing network reaches all 154 districts in the country, a significant number of households and businesses are still not connected.
This project will use existing infrastructure to build additional distribution networks and connect new users; it will also pilot a new business model to promote the development for off-grid energy solutions. “It’s estimated that 272,000 new customers will have access to electricity services as a result of this project, representing about 1.45 million people, of which 74 percent are in rural areas,” she added.
This operation is part of a coordinated effort by the donor community to implement the NES and is in full alignment with the Bank’s ongoing 2017-21 strategy, known as Country Partnership Framework (CPF), for Mozambique.