Andre Janse van Vuuren

STANDARD Chartered (Stanchart) bank would pledge a further $3 billion (R32bn) to a White House initiative aimed at improving access to electricity in Africa after it spent $2bn on the same project during the past 12 months, the company said yesterday.

“We expect to add around 7 500 megawatts to Africa’s power grid – equivalent to the electricity production capacity of Nigeria” and Ivory Coast, Peter Sands, the chief executive of the London-based bank, said.

The Power Africa initiative was started by US President Barack Obama in June last year to deliver electricity to more than 20 million households and companies by 2018.

More than two-thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is without electricity, with about 85 percent of people living in rural areas lacking access, according to the White House.

Stanchart is helping fund the Azura-Edo and Okija power projects that will add more than 900MW of capacity in Nigeria, the continent’s biggest economy. – Bloomberg