The World Bank Group has committed $5bn in new technical and financial support for energy projects in six African countries.
The six nations, which have partnered with US President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative, include Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.
The new financial commitment is in response to the urgent requirement for electricity for the African people, 600 million of whom have no access to electricity.
However, Africa has some of the world’s largest hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar potential, as well as significant oil and natural gas reserves.
World Bank Group president Dr Jim Yong Kim said: "We think that the US Power Africa initiative will play an extremely important role in achieving the goal of providing electricity for Africa.
"So today, I’m very pleased to announce that the World Bank Group, following President Obama’s lead, will partner with Power Africa by committing $5bn in direct financing, investment guarantees and advisory services for project preparation in Power Africa’s six initial partner countries, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.
"The US Government and the World Bank Group are working now on specific tasks and milestones, which could help to achieve one quarter of Power Africa’s goal of generating 10,000MW of new power in Sub Saharan Africa."
World Bank Africa vice-president Makhtar Diop said: "Beyond building up power generators, they must be connected to the market, which calls for regional cooperation to build the transmission network.
"We are working with African leaders and their development partners to create power pools in Africa’s east, west, central and southern sub-regions.
"Those countries with abundant geothermal, gas, hydro, solar and wind resources can feed their excess power supply into a common pool, while neighbouring states with less energy and generation capacity can benefit from this integrated approach to delivering electricity to their people."