The African Development Bank has pledged to invest Sh1.2 trillion ($12 billion) to accelerate electricity supply in Africa.

Bank’s president Dr Akinwumi Adesina has said the bank will leverage between $45-50 billion from the private sector, and will work with the African Union and other partners to fast-track electricity access in the next 10 years.

He noted the lack of electricity bogs down the continent’s growth and development. “For decades, Africa has continued to export raw materials.

As it does, it is subject to global commodity price shocks, as we are witnessing again. The reason why Africa exports raw unprocessed materials is simple: Africa does not have electricity,” said Adesina during the African Summit held in Marrakech, Morocco.

He said Africa must “power up” itself to add value to what it produces, speed up industrialisation and move to the top of global value chains.

This, Adesina said, should start with unlocking the huge amounts of energy potential on the continent, including the vast potentials in renewable and non-renewable energy.

AfDB was approved as the Trustee for the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative by AU.

The initiative seeks to unlock Africa’s renewable energy potential to deliver 10GW of electricity by 2020, and 300GW by 2030.

The initiative was the major outcome for Africa in the Paris Agreement, where G7 countries committed to provide $10 billion towards the initiative.