A $150 Million Electricity Recovery Project Aims to Help Light up Somalia

A $150 Million Electricity Recovery Project Aims to Help Light up Somalia

MOGADISHU, December 9, 2021—The Somalia Electricity Recovery Project is set to increase access to cleaner, lower cost electricity for 1.1 million households, or approximately 7 million people, of which 3.5 million are women. The project also aims to reestablish a stable electricity supply and support regional integration.

Out of a population of about 15 million, 9 million Somalis lack access to electricity services, and the cost of power is among the highest in the world. In addition, almost nine out of ten Somali households are deprived in at least one dimension of poverty—monetary, energy, education, or water and sanitation (World Bank (2019) Somalia Poverty and Vulnerability Assessment). The combined impacts of the COVID‐19 pandemic, devastating flooding, droughts, and a desert locust infestation further undermine economic recovery and efforts to reduce poverty.

“Access to affordable electricity is critical for reducing poverty, as it helps increase household income, improve the business climate, and create jobs,” said Kristina Svensson, World Bank Country Manager for Somalia. “This project complements and leverages programs by the World Bank Group and those of international partners in Somalia by scaling up investments to improve service delivery.”

Access to electricity is also a pre‐requisite for the provision of adequate health and education services, and for responding effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic and future shocks. The project is set to enhance health and education services by providing electricity access to 205 health facilities and 380 schools.

90% of Somalia’s electricity is supplied through isolated diesel‐based mini-grids operated by private energy service providers (ESPs). The combination of a highly fragmented private electricity sector along with an installed capacity that is inadequate to serve current and future demand, has resulted in an inefficient and expensive supply given the lack of economies of scale. Somalia also has significant potential for using renewable energy for electricity generation, particularly solar and wind energy, as identified by numerous assessments by the World Bank.

“The project’s design builds on the World Bank’s experience of supporting local institutions in fragility, conflict & violence (FCV) affected countries, with the goal of enhancing local knowledge and capacity to improve service delivery and build back better using green and resilient solutions,” said Erik Fernstrom, World Bank Practice Manager for infrastructure in Southern and Eastern Africa.

The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), as an active member of the Horn of Africa Initiative (HoAI), can also leverage the opportunities offered by regional integration to leapfrog the establishment of backbone transmission infrastructure and have access to diverse and low‐cost electricity supply from regional neighbors.

  • The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the last three years (FY19-FY21), with about 70 percent going to Africa. Learn more online: IDA.worldbank.org. #IDAworks

As year 2022 is coming to an end, what is the status of this project?


Anything Western backed gets bogged down with feasability studies and politics . This project coincided with Farmajo who was well known for slowing development down. Aparently the Oodweyne road and the Loowyacado road are still in feasibility study phase. Compare this to the Berbera Corridor which the UAE built in a couple of years. Compare to China which has built railways, roads, bridges, power plants, water projects in a couple of years.

This is all about tapping into the Ethiopian grid and “horn integration”. Why has Somaliland never gone down the Wind power route which Djibouti is now exploiting? Why dont the Electricity companies come together and invest in a few wind turbines? Why wait for World Bank projects which are booby trapped to the hilt.

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The development objective of the Somali Electricity Sector Recovery Project for Somalia is to increase access to lower cost and cleaner electricity supply in project areas and to re-establish the electricity supply industry. The project comprises of four components.

The first component, sub-transmission and distribution network reconstruction, reinforcement, and operations efficiency in the major load centers of Mogadishu and Hargeisa will improve network reliability and operational efficiency by interconnecting the current energy services provider (ESPs’) distribution networks and existing generation to optimize overall distribution network operations. It consists of following sub-components: (i) generator synchronization and automation; and (ii) sub transmission and distribution network interconnection in the major load center of Mogadishu and Hargeisa.

The second component, hybridization and battery storage systems for minigrids will support activities aimed at the hybridization and optimization of existing mini grids.

The third component, stand-alone solar off-grid access to public institutions will finance the delivery, installation, and operation and maintenance (O and M) for lighting global - certified solar photovoltaic (SPV) systems over the lifetime of the project for selected education and health facilities.

The fourth component, institutional development and capacity building will support the implementation of the recommendations provided under the ongoing electricity supply industry (ESI) institutional design option analysis for sector development and project implementation arrangements: (i) policy and regulatory development; (ii) sector planning and feasibility studies for renewable energy projects; (iii) ESP and Ministry of Energy and Water Resources (MOEWR) and Ministry of Energy and Mines (MOEM) business support services; (iv) project implementation support including for environment and social safeguards; and (v) implementation of a gender action plan.

$50 million dollars is what Somaliland got from this project.

They just divided 12 cities by 3. Sanaag and Sool ?