Sudan Construction and Business News
FAO and AfDB Collaborate on 'Desert to Power Program' in Africa
July 25, 2017
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have begun a new major collaboration initiative to help transform precarious situations in the desert part of Africa into developmental opportunities. It is called the 'Desert to Power program', and will be deployed to 11 countries including Sudan.
In his keynote remarks at the opening session on 25 July 2017 in Khartoum, Abdul Kamara, Manager of AfDB’s Sudan Country Office reiterated that this transformational objective would be achieved through integrated interventions that combine energy solutions, agricultural value chain and building resilience to climate change that promotes industrialization. On his part, the Resident Representative of FAO emphasized that Sudan has expansive arable lands under the gum belt together with significant renewable energy potentials which need to be tapped.
As part of the initiative, an AfDB project identification mission is in Sudan on the backdrop of the FAO’s Consultation Workshop on project preparation for Green Climate Fund, and will be in Sudan from 24 – 27 July, to carry out consultations with key partners in the government and other development agencies in Khartoum as part of the Desert to Power Initiative. The mission aims to mobilize co-financing from the Green Climate Fund for the implementation of the Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall Programme. The workshop is a prelude to a technical meeting to be held at AfDB headquarters in September 2017. This forthcoming meeting which is being organized in collaboration with FAO, the Great Green Wall, and other development partners, will develop a common road map and financing strategies for the next 3 to 5 years.
This brainstorming session on energy is timely for Sudan given that the country projects to increase its access to electricity by 13% each year to reach universal access by 2025. This will require on grid and off-grid solutions, taking advantage of Sudan’s potential in different sources of energy. As often remarked by President Adesina, “Power is the overriding African Priority. It is almost impossible to start a business, agribusiness for example, without power and light.” Thus stopping the vicious cycle of rural poverty, youth unemployment and climate change (“the triangle of disaster”) starts with providing access to electricity to fuel households and businesses. The end result is to promote resilience to climate change in many of the 11 member- countries of the Great Green Wall Initiative. The countries include Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Senegal and Sudan.