Senegal in line for World Bank loan to boost energy


enegal is in line to obtain World Bank soft loans totalling $140 million to enable the West African nation to boost energy supply and fill a gap in its budget, said the bank’s vice president for Africa Makhtar Diop.

“We have talked with (Senegalese) authorities about two operations, the first concerning $85 million for the energy sector,” Diop told journalists in Dakar.

The second loan of $55 million will be set aside for budgetary support this year and could be renewed in the 2013/2014 fiscal year, Diop said, adding that the measures will soon be presented to the bank’s board for a decision, Reuters reports.

Senegal’s energy sector has been hit by years of poor management and misdirected investment which has left it with one of the world’s most costly and inefficient power sectors, based on diesel-run generators.

The problems culminated in widespread power outages last year, some lasting up to 30 hours, bringing businesses to a standstill and triggering mass protests.

The government has launched an ambitious 653 billion CFA francs plan dubbed “Takkal” (Light It Up) in the local Wolof language to address the capacity shortages and other problems strangling the sector.