African Development Fund approves nearly $35m to Liberia for renewable energy
JOHANNESBURG - The African Development Fund, an entity of the African Development Bank Group, has approved a $34.74 million grant and loan to boost renewable energy access and promote an attractive investment climate in Liberia.
In a statement late on Tuesday it said African Development Bank (AfDB) country manager in Liberia Dr. Orison Amu and finance and development planning minister Samuel Tweah Jr. signed financing agreements for two projects.
Under the first project, more than $33 million will go towards constructing a mini dam on the St. John River in Nimba County in northeastern Liberia and the development of the Gbedin hydropower Falls with a total capacity of 9.34 megawatts of power for 7,000 households.
"The system would allow for grid expansion to isolated communities and support the connection of schools, health centers, businesses and industries to the national grid, increasing the rural electrification rate in Liberia," the African Development Fund said.
Tweah Jr. said the project, scheduled for completion by 2024, would help unlock one of the main constraints to economic development -- access to a reliable, affordable and sustainable supply of electricity.
The second project received approval for an additional $1 million to assist in promoting business investment in Liberia and building the capacity of the National Investment Commission.
“As a bank we understand the challenges faced by (the) government and the efforts underway to attract foreign direct investment,” Amu said.
"This project aims at contributing to those ongoing efforts by the Liberian government.”
As of January, the fund has 16 on-going and recently approved operations in Liberia with a total commitment of $413 million covering infrastructure, predominantly roads, and energy.
With the latest agreement, energy now accounts for 26 percent of the African Development Fund's total commitments in Liberia.