BURKINA FASO – The government of Burkina Faso has secured a US$450 million grant from the United States through the Millennium Challenge Corporation for electricity improvement projects.

A report by Africa Energy Portal indicated Burkina Faso had applied to the United States for the funding which was to be granted under a five-year MCC grant programme.

MCC in a statement revealed that Burkina Faso will use the funds from its grant to implement various initiatives in the electricity sector.

Burkina Faso’s has a fairly underdeveloped electricity sector making access to reliable power a dream to most of the country’s population.

According to a World Bank report, only 14.4 percent of the population of this West African country has access to electricity.

This poor electricity penetration rate had an adverse effect to the economy as it makes it unattractive for investments in critical sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture.

Without investment in the country’s economy, GDP growth becomes impossible while creation of employment opportunities for the youth becomes elusive.

Lack of access to electricity also negatively impacts on the living standards of many citizens of Burkina Faso as electricity is essential for many basic issues such as charging mobile phones and providing safe, clean, and quality lighting to homes at night.

Education is also adversely affected as students cannot study beyond the day time hours and neither can they use technology in their studies.

The Government of Burkina Faso is however intent on expanding its electricity capacity so that it can benefit more of its citizens.

To reach at least 8 million people, the government of Burkina Faso said that it has committed to add $50 million to the $450 million that the MCC is providing for electrification projects.

The projects include improving power generation infrastructure; improving generation capacity; and diversifying sources of electricity generation.

The partnership between the government of Burkina Faso and the Millennium Challenge Corporation will also support the country’s participation in regional electricity markets.

The Grant is however, not the first to be granted to the West African by the United states nation as in 2008, Burkina Faso was also a beneficiary of another US$480 million grant from the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Sean Stuart Cairncross, explained that the 2008 grant was until 2014, the funds were invested in several sectors, including agriculture and water.

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