World Bank Supports Greater Access to Energy and Broadband Services in Rural Mozambique

WASHINGTON  — The World Bank approved today a $300 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) that will support the Government of Mozambique’s efforts to increase access to energy and broadband services, as well as strengthen the operational performance of the country’s electricity utility.

“Mozambique’s economy can benefit from systematically harnessing the synergies of energy and digital connectivity in rural and fragile areas to enhance economic productivity, promote inclusive growth and build resilience in a sustainable manner,” said Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, and Seychelles.

Energy access remains low in Mozambique with significant rural-urban disparities. The rural electricity access rate is estimated at about 8%, against 72% in urban areas. Only 4% of the population in Mozambique has access to clean cooking solutions. Likewise, access to telecommunication services is limited, with only 30% of the population using the internet.

“We will focus on energy provision to the poor, to those displaced by conflict and to critical social services such as schools and hospitals where private sector participation is limited. This financing will also help local enterprises bridge market and capacity gaps and grow as reliable partners in the provision of energy and communication services,” said Samuel Oguah, Senior Energy Specialist, and the project’s co-task team leader.

The project financing will be utilized to expand on-grid peri-urban and rural grid electrification to over 3% of the nation’s population (1,1 million beneficiaries); expand off-grid electricity access and clean cooking solutions through increased availability and affordability with a particular focus on underserved areas of the northern provinces; and expand broadband access for at least 580,000 people thereby supporting efforts to improve service delivery and bridge the digital divide. Part of the funds will also be utilized to improve the electricity utility’s operational performance. The project leverages private sector investments and builds on development patterns’ interventions, particularly on clean energy solutions.

“Another area of our focus is on productive use of electricity particularly in agriculture,” added Claudio Buque, Senior Energy Specialist, and the project’s co-task team leader. “By investing in clean cooking solutions, we’ll contribute to reducing the health risks of women and children, particularly those associated with traditional cooking.”

“Energy and information and communications technology (ICT) access increasingly go hand in hand – electricity is needed to power digital devices and networks, while mobile communications and payments can unlock new business models for low-cost solar home system deployment,” added Casey Torgusson, Senior Digital Development Specialist, and the project’s co-task team leader. “By adopting a coordinated approach in the deployment of energy and ICT, this project holds significant potential to improve access to energy and broadband services in rural areas, creating greater social and economic connection and opportunities in otherwise isolated communities.”

This project is co-financed by the Kingdom of Sweden and the Kingdom of Norway through the Mozambique Energy for All Multi-Donor Trust Fund with an additional amount of $38 million equivalent and the ESMAP Clean Cooking Fund in the amount of $5 million. It will contribute to the achievement of the government’s National Electrification Strategy, which aims to provide electricity for all Mozambicans by 2030. This operation is aligned with the World Bank Group Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Mozambique FY17-21, especially on its focus on inclusive growth and private sector development.

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the last three years (FY19-FY21), with about 70% going to Africa. Learn more online: IDA.worldbank.org.

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