The African Development Bank (AFDB) has unveiled plans to provide 29.3 million people in Africa with electricity by 2020.

As part of the new plan, the bank intends to work with partners to develop 10,000MW of solarpower systems across the Sahel region through its Desert to Power initiative.

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The bank intends to provide electricity to 250 million people through the initiative, with 90 million of these achieved through off-grid systems.

AFDB president Akinwumi Adesina said: “The African Development Bank is today at the forefront of investing in renewable energy in Africa. The share of renewable energy in the bank’s energy portfolio increased from 14% when I became president in 2015 to 100% last year.

“Our support last year alone provided 3.8 million Africans with access to electricity.”

“Our support last year alone provided 3.8 million Africans with access to electricity. With adequate financing, we expect to reach 29.3 million people with access to electricity between 2018 and 2020.”

AFDB has also urged the UN Secretary-General to extend support for the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility, as well as to offer financial assistance to co-pay for climate risk insurance for vulnerable African countries.

The bank is reported to have come forward with an insurance option to help and safeguard against natural calamities that displace public expenditures.

AFBD is planning to provide $76m this year towards the payment of insurance premiums, while other participating countries provide $31.5m and the African Risk Capacity Agency (ARC) provides $16m.

More than 20 countries are currently reported to have expressed their interest in participating the initiative.