6 September 2013

Comoros: World Bank Approves Funds to Help Improve Electricity Supply and Reliability in Comoros

press release

The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a US$5 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA*) to support the Comoros Government's efforts to shore up the commercial management and financial performance of a state-owned power utility, reduce power costs and improve the reliability of electricity delivered to residents on the islands of Grande Comore and Moheli.

Today's funding supports Comoros' Electricity Sector Recovery Project, a priority in the Government's energy sector strategy.

The project is designed to reform corporate governance and commercial and technical management of Gestion de l'Eau et de l'Electricité aux Comores (MA-MWE) - which provides electricity supply services to the islands of Grande Comore and Moheli.

"As a small archipelago country, Comoros faces inherent difficulties in fuel transport and lacks economies of scale for power generation, which puts serious constraints on economic progress and poverty eradication," says Haleh Bridi, World Bank Country Director for Comoros.

"Today's project supports infrastructure improvements and overall commercial and financial management of the energy sector. We are happy to support the Government's implementation of this project."

The project has three components. The first will help bring commercial, financial and technical support to MA-MWE by financing new senior managers to lead the commercial and financial restructuring of the utility; the funds also support the purchase of new network and fuel metering equipment.

The second component will strengthen the energy sector institutions, such as the Ministry in charge of energy and the department of energy, by helping to define and implement an energy policy. The final component includes funds for overall project management.

"Electricity is only available for approximately 6 hours per day in most of Grande Comore while consumers located in the capital city of Moroni have unreliable electricity supply for most of the day," says Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director of Sustainable Development for the Africa Region.

"Today's funds will help boost the Government's efforts to improve electricity supply, opening the door for new businesses and creating jobs and improved living conditions for households in Comoros."

- The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world's poorest countries by providing zero-interest financing and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people's lives.

IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 1.8 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Between 2003 and 2013, IDA provided $256 billion in financing for 3,787 projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, benefiting on average, 36 African countries a year.

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