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European Investment Bank (EIB) Thursday signed an agreement to advance African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) €2 million (Sh238.2 million) to boost training in the energy sector.
ATI an institution with expertise in risk mitigation on investments will use the grant to obtain specialist skills for underwriting energy sector projects.
“Investment in energy is essential for economic growth and quality of life in Africa. We are pleased to support this new engagement by the African Trade Insurance Agency to improve key skills and understanding of energy investment which will strengthen implementation of key energy projects,” said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank vice president in a statement.
The grant to ATI came out of the EU-Africa Summit where leaders have gathered to map out an action plan aimed at strengthening cooperation in key areas including investments, climate change and security.
He added the new agreement would complement EIB’s wider commitment to support energy investment, as demonstrated in the recent funding of the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project — East Africa’s largest investment in wind energy.
Upon completion of this initial phase of the agreement, ATI is expected to become one of the key partners and members of the Africa Energy Guarantee Fund, which is to boost access to proper risk mitigation and credit enhancement tools for energy sector projects in Africa.
EIB came up with the fund in response to the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative where several leading African financial institutions are lined up to participate along with ATI.
“Demand for clean, affordable and sustainable energy solutions is a priority for most of the continent. We are pleased to be part of this EIB-led initiative because it has the potential to have real impact both at the level of investments and on improving the quality of life for millions of people in Africa,” said ATI chief executive George Otieno who signed on behalf of the institution.
The demand in Africa for cleaner and more reliable energy sources is huge. Currently close to 600 million people out of a population of one billion do not have access to electricity.
This leaves millions reliant on dangerous options such as kerosene lanterns and charcoal stoves, that cause nearly 1.4 million premature deaths from respiratory illnesses, according to the World Health Organisation.
– Business Daily