The International Fiance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has forged a new partnership with Gaia Energy to create a joint platform for the development of wind power and other renewable energy projects in Africa.
Gaia Energy is a Moroccan renewable energy developer active in 10 countries across Africa. The new joint platform will start with a pipeline of 22 projects in nine countries in North, West and East Africa, representing a pipeline under development of more than 3 gigawatts. Originally developed by Gaia Energy, this pipeline will be progressively enlarged to new countries across the continent.
“IFC’s expertise in financial structuring and mobilization as well as its environmental and social safeguards ideally complements Gaia’s tailor-made approach to develop projects in new markets,” said Moundir Zniber, Founder and President of Gaia Energy. “Our partnership is a key step in expanding our business in the countries where we are present, and hopefully beyond. IFC and Gaia share the same values and vision regarding sustainability and the importance of South/South Cooperation to build tomorrow’s Africa. Both work to power the continent through the adoption of renewable energies and sustainable development principles.”
The joint platform will be implemented under IFC InfraVentures, a $150 million global infrastructure project development fund created as part of the World Bank Group’s efforts to increase the pipeline of bankable projects in developing countries. It will also be supported by the €114-million Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Program, which helps spur private sector financing for climate change solutions, especially innovative and early-stage projects in emerging markets.
“Wind energy and renewable energy in general are priority areas identified in the World Bank Group’s strategy to advance climate solutions led by the private sector. IFC is pleased to partner with Gaia Energy and leverage a quality project pipeline in countries with strong wind potential,” said David Donaldson, IFC Head of Infraventures for Sub Saharan Africa. “IFC’s support will help Gaia in its strategic choice of countries where efforts should be intensified, and in taking projects to financial close.”
The energy gap is a major impediment to Africa’s development. Today, 650 million Africans do not have access to electricity and increased investment is needed to meet the continent’s fast-growing energy demand. Renewable energy offers an opportunity to accelerate access to clean, affordable electricity and to attract private investment that will create jobs.