On Wednesday May 17, 2023, from 9:00 to 11:30 am, WAPP Secretary General Mr. Siengui A. KI met with representatives of the African Development Bank (AfDB). The purpose of the working meeting, which took place in a professional and formal setting, was to discuss the prolonged delays the AfDB takes in approving documents, leading to delays in project completion.
The Secretary General was accompanied by the Director of the WAPP PIPES Department and his Executive Assistant. The AfDB expressed its gratitude to WAPP for the visit, and took the opportunity to share its vision of developing a vast electricity market across Africa. It stressed that this required the development of both intra-pool and extra-pool projects, and expressed its readiness to collaborate with the WAPP in the implementation of large-scale projects.
The working meeting focused on two main points: delays in project implementation and future prospects.
The WAPP presented the delays encountered on three specific projects. The first concerns the high-voltage electrical interconnection of the Sahel Dorsal linking several countries, with a $4 million grant from the AfDB for pre-feasibility studies. ANO's response time to the Bank's evaluation report on the expression of interest and ANO's response time to the evaluation report on the technical proposals were very long, leading to delays in project implementation. The second and third projects concern, respectively, the reinforcement of the interconnection between Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia, with a grant of $1.786 million from NEPAD-IPPF, and the Ghana-Burkina-Mali interconnection, with a grant of $0.583 million from NEPAD-IPPF for the updating of feasibility studies. For both projects, there were also lengthy delays in obtaining the lifting of preconditions.
The Bank has expressed its commitment to improving this situation. It also expressed its willingness to participate in the payment guarantee to secure transactions on the regional electricity market, an initiative in which the WAPP acknowledges having omitted to include the AfDB, and plans to submit a dossier on the subject.
The working meeting between WAPP and the AfDB was an opportunity to openly discuss delays in project implementation and explore prospects for improvement. Bank representatives took note of the concerns raised by WAPP and expressed their commitment to finding effective solutions. WAPP also shared updates on the status of several ongoing projects, underlining the importance of working closely with the AfDB to secure adequate financial support.