France Unveils $2bn Energy Project For Africa

France has offered provide $2 billion to help develop renewable energy in Africa.


French President Francois Hollande disclosed at the climate change summit in Paris that the country has earmarked about $6.4 billion, over the next four years to help with electrification in Africa.

Of that, one third is to help the continent develop renewable energy.

Hollande’s announcement came during a meeting with about a dozen African leaders to discuss climate threats in their countries.

He also announced about $1.5 billion for an African Union project called the Great Green Wall to help people plant trees and adapt to an encroaching Sahara desert.

The announcements were made as world leaders began heading home, leaving their negotiators to deal with the tough job of finding consensus on a climate plan.

Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank similarly talked about a “new deal” on energy for Africa.

He said the bank will invest $12 billion (11.3 billion euros) in energy projects by 2020.

“The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative is one of the key parts of our efforts to light up and power Africa,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari also in Paris yesterday urged developed countries to make strong financial commitments to the $14 billion urgently needed to revive the Lake Chad Basin.

The president stated this at a high level meeting on “Climate change challenges and solutions in Africa”, on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference, COP 21.

Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, quoted the president as saying that the assistance, when offered, would save communities depending on the river from extinction.

Similarly,while speaking on Monday at the summit, Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou described the effects of climate change in his country: extreme temperatures, drought and floods, a dying lake Chad and the Niger River that is silting up.

He said Niger and other Sahel countries were waiting for a strong response from the international community.

A group of 43 countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change are now calling for a new deal to limit global warming to 1.5º C above pre-industrial levels, rather than the two-degree target the Paris meeting hopes to reach.