The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said its President, Donald Kaberuka, will travel to Tanzania at the weekend where he is expected to meet with the visiting US President, Barack Obama, PANA reported from here Friday.
While in Tanzania, Kaberuka will attend the launch of the Power Africa initiative, which will be unveiled by Obama under a new plan for the distribution of electricity across the continent.
In a statement, the AfDB disclosed that the initiative was a multi-stakeholder partnership involving the US, the AfDB and six African countries.
Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and Liberia have been identified as priority countries and will be the first in which the project is initiated.
”The initiative will increase available electricity access, raise cross-border energy trade and promote efficient management of energy resources,” the statement highlighted.
AfDB is said to have committed more than US$1.63 billion in energy infrastructure funding to the six countries involved in the initiative over the past five years, including US$1.4 billion under the African Development Fund (ADF).
The US is a significant contributor to the ADF, which is reportedly going through its 13th replenishment.
The African continent ”pays dearly for deficiencies in infrastructure, including in the energy sector. Drawing now on resources from the public and the private sector, at home and abroad, it can derive immense dividends,” Kaberuka remarked ahead of the visit.
Meanwhile, the AfDB recently unveiled plans for the new ‘Africa50Fund’, a big and bold solution designed to help fill the funding gaps in Africa’s transport, power, water and communications systems.
”The bank is committed to partnering with regional members to ensure they stay a path of sustained growth,” the statement noted.
Part of Obama’s Tanzanian trip is expected to focus on an initiative to foster economic growth and development in Africa through increased access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power in Africa.
The 1-2 July Tanzania visit is the last stop on President Obama’s three-nation Africa tour, which started from Senegal and then to South Africa.