EU com­mits N20bn for projects in Africa

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Romoke W. Ah­mad

The Euro­pean Union yes­ter­day an­nounced its new sup­port to pro­vide ac­cess to en­ergy to two mil­lion people in Africa with a grant budget of €95 mil­lion (about N20 bil­lion).

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the com­mis­sion in Brussels, Bel­gium, more than two mil­lion people in poor ru­ral ar­eas of Africa will ben­e­fit from ac­cess to mod­ern, af­ford­able and sus­tain­able en­ergy ser­vices from the new EU sup­port an­nounced by EU Com­mis­sioner for De­vel­op­ment, An­dris Piebalgs.

The state­ment stated fur­ther that the ini­tia­tive shows that the EU has been a leader in the cam­paign to pro­vide sus­tain­able en­ergy for all.

“Grants of €95 mil­lion have been awarded for 16 projects across nine African coun­tries to pro­vide ac­cess to en­ergy in ru­ral ar­eas, an amount which will be trans­lated into projects cost­ing more than €155 mil­lion (through co-fi­nanc­ing sup­port by ap­pli­cants),” the state­ment said.

Com­mis­sioner Piebalgs said: “En­ergy is fun­da­men­tal for ev­ery ar­eas of de­vel­op­ment; from cre­at­ing jobs and boost­ing growth to im­prov­ing health­care and en­abling people to cook safely. Yet too of­ten, people in ru­ral ar­eas have been left be­hind - a shock­ing 84% of those with­out ac­cess to en­ergy now live in the coun­try­side.

“We need to make sure that our work sup­ports ev­ery­one, no mat­ter where they live.”

Also, Piebalgs is ex­pected to par­tic­i­pate at the pre­sen­ta­tion of the re­port of the High Level Panel on Frag­ile States, en­ti­tled “End­ing con­flict and build­ing peace in Africa: A Call to Ac­tion”, chaired by Pres­i­dent Ellen John­son Sir­leaf of Liberia.

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