"The Project for Improvement and Access to the Electricity Sector will finance electrification investments in the provinces of Luanda, Benguela, Huíla and Huambo, making 196,500 new electricity connections that will benefit around 1 million people and 93,857 public lighting poles," reads the statement sent Monday to Lusa.
The total cost of the project is 417 million dollars, funded with a 250 million dollars loan from the World Bank and a 167 million dollars credit from the French Development Agency, and "will focus on expanding access to electricity and improving revenue collection, improving energy services, improving the capacity of PRODEL (Public Company for Electricity Production) and strengthening the sustainable management of thermal power plants.
According to the statement, "the project also aims to increase the commercial performance of the National Electricity Distribution Company (ENDE), as well as finance the RNT (National Transport Network) for targeted interventions to improve and optimize the dispatch of electricity supply and overall management of the national transport network," and also intends to finance "immediate measures to increase the operational, commercial and technical capacity of the three public energy companies, resulting in significant improvements in electricity services."
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank's director in Angola, Jean-Christophe, said, "Investment in infrastructure, especially in energy, is fundamental for economic development and quality access to electricity services will have a knock-on effect on many other sectors, including agribusiness, health, education, just to name a few."
Access to power in Angola, despite the fast-paced development of power generation capacity, "is limited to less than 40 percent of citizens, with inadequate services impacting poverty, productivity and regional disparities, therefore, the project aims to address the most critical actions needed to help expand access to electricity, improve the operational and business performance of companies, and ultimately increase their credibility."
This, the statement concludes, "will contribute to reducing extreme poverty, improving the resilience of communities to impacts from covid-19, and increasing shared prosperity."