Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa with a UNDP Human Development Index rank of 175 out of 187. Despite significant progress over the past decade, access to electricity remains a severe development challenge in Mali. Urban rates of electricity access are around 55%, but nearly 75% of the population lives in rural areas, where electricity access is 15%. The energy sector is characterized by high dependencies on hydroelectric power generation, which accounts for 55% of grid-connected primary energy, and biomass, which meets around 80% of household energy needs, and generates a similar proportion of the country’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Inadequate access to clean and affordable energy limits social opportunities for the poor, women, and the youth in particular, and is a key factor in Mali’s most pressing health and environmental challenges. With energy demand growing at an average of 10% per year, addressing the core institutional, financial, capacity, and knowledge barriers to the development of low carbon energy pathways are central to Mali’s core development objectives.
...the percentage of rural areas that the government has targeted for electrification by 2015
Mali is tapping US$40 million in grant and near-zero interest credit financing from the Scaling-Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Program (SREP) for a programmatic set of transformative investments intended to create an enabling environment for the large scale development of Mali’s renewable energy sector. SREP financing is expected to leverage over US$215 million in additional co-financing for investments that aim to generate new economic opportunities and broaden access to sustainable energy services as well as generate substantial economic, social, and environmental co-benefits. Specific activities financed under Mali’s SREP investment plan include three distinct portfolios of micro and mini hydroelectric, photovoltaic, and hybrid rural electrification projects. Mali’s SREP investment plan was drafted under the leadership of the government in coordination with the African Development Bank (AfDB), members of the World Bank Group (IBRD, IFC), other development partners, and key Malian stakeholders.