Minister of Energy Aziz Rabbah said Africa needs to “increase accessibility to sustainable, quality, and low-cost electricity.”
Rabat – Morocco’s Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) announced on Tuesday the launch of a joint initiative to develop renewable energy projects in Africa.
During a virtual meeting on December 23, representatives from the two bodies presented several projects, including Dosso, Maradi, and Diff solar power plans in Niger.
The projects will cover a total capacity of 30 megawatts, as well as a product of three solar power plans with storage in Djibouti.
The project also includes the Franceville solar power plant with a capacity of 150 megawatts and the 36 megawatts FE II hydroelectric projects.
MASEN and IDB representatives also introduced the 50 megawatts solar thermal power plant in Senegal, the groups said in a joint statement.
Morocco’s Minister of Energy Aziz Rabbah, and MASEN’s Director of Cooperation and International Development Ali Zerouali launched the projects along with the IDB’s Vice-President Mansur Muhtar.
The initiative seeks to “catalyze the development of renewable energy projects in the Bank’s member countries in Africa,” noted the joint statement.
Commenting on the joint initiative, Rabbah said that Africa is in need of increased accessibility to high-quality, sustainable,, and low-cost electricity.
“Several Aferican countries will have to adjust their energy system by developing renewable energies, from now on,” he said.
IDB’s Muhtar said that the development of renewable energies across Africa requires the mobilization of the necessary resources and the establishment of “appropriate mechanisms integrating the benefits of South-South cooperation.”
He added that such projects require a “strong commitment” from all actors operating in the field.
For his part, MASEN CEO Mustapha Bakkoury emphasized the importance of the projects. He said that IDB and the Moroccan renewable energy authority have designed an initiative that “breaks with existing paradigms.”
According to Bakkoury, the initiative is part of a South-South cooperation that seeks to strengthen the electricity production capacities of renewable origin and to reinforce the development of local expertise capable of “autonomously supporting future projects.”
The projects from IDB and MASEN are part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) the two bodies signed in April 2019 in Marrakech.
The MoU provides that the two parties support the “pre-feasibility of the projects selected, which will allow the projects to be developed with mobilization of MASEN’s technical expertise,” Morocco’s state media reported
A number of African energy ministers, including Ismael Bachir Ouedraogo from Burkina Faso and Severin Mayounou from Gabon, also participated in the virtual ceremony to launch the projects.
Morocco is positioning itself among regional and worldwide leaders in the renewable energy and sustainable development sectors. With different environment-friendly projects across the country, Morocco seeks to become self-sufficient in electricity and energy production in the long term.