The World Bank has approved a grant worth $73.1 million (£44m) to finance a hydropower project and a technical assistance programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The 4,800MW Inga 3 Basse Chute (BC), which is part of the 40GW Grand Inga project, is expected to provide seven million people with electricity.
According to the World Bank, DRC’s hydropower potential is estimated at 100GW – the third largest in the world after China and Russia – however, only 10% of it has been developed.
The Mid-Size Hydropower Development Technical Assistance Project will finance a series of environmental, social and technical studies that will help guide sustainable development of the Inga3 BC and other hydropower projects. Its goal is to bring more electricity to millions of people who currently have no access.
The project will also help create national institutions to pilot site developments and award concessions on a competitive basis, the World Bank said.
Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa said: “By being involved in the development of Inga 3 BC from an early stage we can help ensure that its development is done right so it can be a game changer by providing electricity to millions of people and powering commerce and industry.”
Last year the African Development Bank also provided $33.4 million (£20.2m) to support DRC in developing its large hydropower potential.