Appeal to the private sector in the electrification of rural areas in West Africa

8 October 2009

Key players in the sector of electrification in West Africa gathered in Douala, in Cameroon, at the beginning of the week, with the aim of co-ordinating their strategies in developing access to electricity in rural areas.

A number of projects have recently been carried out in this context, in particular in Cameroon, Burkina Faso, and in Mauritania, thanks to financing provided by a number of development partners such as the World Bank and the European Union.

At the present time, work is going ahead to provide access to electricity to 33 localities in the south-west of Cameroon. The funds have been allocated by the International Development Bank.

Despite these advances, however, it transpired from this meeting that the main obstacle to more substantial access to electricity on the part of rural communities is not technical but associated with financing.

To find the funds, the Rural Electrification Agency has called for the vigorous involvement of the private sector, as is already the case in Mauritania, where the network is being constructed and operated by private companies.<br/>

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