The World Bank Group (WBG) has helped boost Cameroon’s hydropower capacity by approving a $794.5m investment package for Nachtigal project in the country. The investment will enable Cameroon to achieve its goal of providing electricity to 88% of its people by 2022. The project is also expected to support Cameroon’s Vision 2035, which focuses on achieving shared growth, reduce poverty, and create jobs through increased industrialisation, improved productivity and better governance. Nachtigal Hydropower project will also support WBG FY17-21 Cameroon Country Partnership Framework (CPF). World Bank Cameroon country director Elisabeth Huybens said: “This investment in clean energy is key to lowering the cost of electricity and ensuring that Cameroon’s economy is competitive.
“The Nachtigal Project is one of the very few public-private partnership (PPP) hydropower projects in Sub-Saharan Africa that will accelerate Cameroon’s realisation of its development goals, including poverty reduction.”
WBG is said to have played a key role in securing private finance for the Nachtigal Hydropower Project. The package includes $300m from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and $262.5m from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. Additionally, WBG secured equity of $70m, loans worth $152m, and currency risk management swaps from the International Finance Corporation. IFC Africa director Oumar Seydi said: “By working for almost five years as co-developer of the project, the Nachtigal HPP is a great example of how IFC is using InfraVentures to help projects become reality in Africa.
“In addition, as Global Coordinator of the Project’s senior debt, IFC has mobilised the entire debt package, including senior loans from development finance institutions and local commercial banks of around €735m ($859m).”
Once completed, Nachtigal Hydropower project is expected to enhance the country’s energy generation capacity by 30%, as well as create better opportunities for the people, who are excluded from economic activities due to the inadequate power supply.