The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced EUR 38.5 million of new financial and technical support to Burkina Faso for promoting solar power development. The funding will also be used to protect its capital city Ouagadougou from future flooding. Through this financing, EIB aims to improve energy access in the country and address the risks caused by extreme weather.

Electricity supply in Burkina Faso is currently restricted by the limited interconnector capacity used to import power from Cote d’Ivoire and electricity access is also low. The said solar power plant has a present capacity of 37 MW and is operated by the national electricity authority Sonabel. The EIB financing will help in expanding the capacity of the plant from 37 MW to 50 MW and help in reducing the need for imports.

“The European Investment Bank has supported long-term investment in Burkina Faso since 1970 and is committed to strengthening economic opportunities, supporting sustainable development and accelerating climate action across the Sahel. As the EU climate bank and a member of Team Europe, the EIB is pleased to back Sonabel’s first solar power plant that will transform renewable energy generation in Burkina Faso and to support investment to better protect thousands of people in Ouagadougou from floods. Cooperation between Burkinabé partners and AFD, the European Union and the EIB is unlocking priority investment that highlights the social, economic and public health impact of climate action in Africa.” said Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President, European Investment Bank.

The European Investment Bank, as part of Team Europe and member of the Sahel Alliance, aims to work towards tackling the various challenges and improving stability in the Sahel region. High-impact investment across the 11 Sahel states – Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan is of high priority for EIB which is working towards supporting transformational public and private sector investment in these countries vulnerable to climate change risks.