The African Development Bank (AfDB) Board has approved the allocation of $20 million in loans to the Democratic Republic of Congo, to support renewable-based mini-grid solutions to the off-grid cities of Isiro, Bumba and Genema.

The DR Congo Green Mini-Grid Program will serve as the pilot to an innovative private-led electrification approach to deploy renewable-based mini-grid solutions in the central African nation. The program will supply power to cities with sizeable populations, some of them with a few hundred thousand inhabitants, without any access to modern energy.

The Bank’s financing will complement the UK’s Department for International Development-backed Essor – Access to Electricity (A2E) initiative, which is a technical assistance program that supports the Government-led mini-grid auction and project preparation. The DFID support seeks to promote the proliferation of private-led green mini-grid projects in the DRC.

The Bank will provide a blend of private and concessional resources notably from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other development partners to the sponsors/consortia that will be selected in the auction process. The Board of the GCF approved $21 million for the program during its 21st Board Meeting in October 2018.

The DRC Green Mini-Grid Program is aligned to the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa agenda, Climate Change Action Plan and long-term investment strategy. These priorities aim to expand energy access, boost productive use of energy while weaning individuals, public and private entities off carbon intensive power generation.The program also aligns with the Bank’s 2013-2020 Country Strategy for DR Congo.