The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved $150 million from the International Development Association (IDA), to finance Senegal’s improvement in electricity access for households, businesses, and essential facilities.

The Energy Access Scale Up Project (PADAES) is set to benefit more than 1.5 million people by connecting 200,000 households to the power grid, including 40,000 vulnerable households with power connections suited to their needs. Furthermore, an estimated 700 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, 200 schools and 600 health centers will also gain from the new or improved electricity connections.

World Bank Task Team Leader, Manuel Luengo, has commented that, “…this transformational and innovative project consolidates World Bank support to the Senegal ambition of reaching universal access to electricity by 2025, five years in advance to SDG7, making it one of the first countries in sub-Saharan Africa to reach that objective.”

Currently, 78.6% of Senegal has access to electricity, making the west African country one of the widest electrified countries in Africa. However, there is still a gap between urban and rural access as well as differences in access between household income levels. The recent national Demographic and Health Surveys Program has also uncovered a strong link between poverty and electricity access. PADAES aims to address this uneven distribution of electricity.