Standard Bank, Africa’s largest lender by assets, and General Electric have reaffirmed their commitment to Africa at a power financing roundtable held in Washington DC. The partnership sees both parties aiming to bridge the power financing gap in Africa and forms part of the US Africa Leaders’ Summit, the largest gathering of African heads of state and government as well as key stakeholders to visit Washington on any one occasion.
The strategic partnership has already seen both companies commit to a $350 million financing agreement aimed at improving access to power infrastructure in Africa. Africa needs to add an extra 300 gigawatts (GW) of power generating capacity over the next 15 years in order to meet demand, which is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 3% over the next two decades. According to the International Energy Agency, sub-Saharan Africa requires more than $300bn in investment to achieve universal electricity access by 2030.
Mr Sim Tshabalala, Chief Executive Standard Bank Group, says solutions to meet Africa’s growing energy demands will only be possible once developers, governments and funders reach a common understanding of the risks, pricing and regulatory imperatives needed to facilitate the required investment.
Mr Tshabalala says “Standard Bank works with investors to offer them a sustainable and structured model to finance power and infrastructure projects appropriately. On-going strategic partnerships with stakeholders like GE, allows us the opportunity to provide access to energy across the continent. In tandem, we are also playing an active role in supporting the policy reform process that should facilitate additional private sector investment in power.”
SA – The Good News