(Bloomberg) -- The World Bank Group plans to connect 300 million Africans to electricity in partnership with with the African Development Bank, under an ambitious project that would halve the number of people living without access to power on the continent by 2030. 

The World Bank will work to connect 250 million people to electricity while the African Development Bank Group will support an additional 50 million people, the Washington-based lender said. The plan will cost as much as $35 billion, some of which will come from from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s concessional arm for low-income countries, Ajay Banga, the lender’s president, said in a speech Wednesday.

“No economy can industrialize in the dark, and no economy can be competitive in the dark,” AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina said in speech at the same event during the World Bank and International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings in Washington. “Africa, in my view, is tired of being in the dark.”

A large part of the commitments to replenish IDA this year will go toward energizing Africa, according to Banga. The private sector must also be involved in the plan, he said. The World Bank will also provide greater guarantees to boost private sector involvement in the plan, he said. 

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.