AfDB providing Nigeria’s underserved with sustainable energy
In partnership with the government of Nigeria, African Development Bank (AfDB) will provide underserved communities with sustainable energy solutions.
As part of the region’s efforts to achieve its target of universal energy access by 2030, the African Development Bank (AfDB) alongside the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) will provide US$200mn in finance to boost the efforts with the region.
The National Electrification Project (NEP) - which will be implemented by Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency - will de-risk and scale-up private sector investment within the off-grid sector, in order to nurture business ecosystems that will contribute to the rapid electrification of NIgeria’s off-grid communities.
Speaking at the project’s launch Nigeria’s Minister of State for Power, Mr. Goddy Jedy Agba, showed his appreciation for the AfDN for investing in the project, highlighting the huge transformative potential it could have for the region, “imagine the impact a project like the NEP will have when it is replicated across rural communities in the country,” he said.
Expected development outcomes
Highlighted by The Bank’s Acting Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth, Wale Shonibare, the project is expected to provide 500,000 people with access to 76.5MW of increased installed power, with 68MW being generated by solar energy.
In addition, eight universities will have access to reliable energy, as well as 20,000 micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) will be supplied with appliances and equipment.
The AfDB is also committed to drive equality in the region, which can be seen in the education of 150 female students, which will receive training on renewable energy solutions.
The NEP aligns with the AfDBs new deal on Energy for Africa a commitment from the bank to invest around US$12bn between 2016 and 2020, as well as leverage US$45-50bn in co-financing for energy projects in Africa. “Let us stand together, invest together, and work together to light up and power Africa,” commented Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank.
In addition to the Energy for Africa deal, the NEP aligns with AfDB’s High Five for Transforming Africa to provide universal access to electricity for over 640mn people within the region, by tapping into the huge renewable energy potential.
The project also aligns with the Federal Government of NIgeria’s Rural Electrification Strategy and Implementation plan (RESIP) and the Power Sector Recovery Programme, whose objective is to increase private investment in the energy sector.
Over the last decade the African Development Bank (AfDB) has been committed to developing the African region with investments in fertilizer supplies in Nigeria and Ghana, food security in the Sudan, growing the industrial sector in Nigeria to drive the economy, improving connectivity in Burundi, improving sanitation in Nigeria and the Sudan and providing relief support in Zimbabwe, Somalia and PAPC.
For more information on business topics in Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Africa.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.