More than two million people in rural areas across Africa are set to have access to electricity, thanks to a €95 million (£78.7m) fund from the EU.
It is part of the European Commission’s programme to provide finance to help “bring electricity to the world’s poorest citizens”.
A total of 16 projects across nine African countries will get a share of the fund, which is expected to be translated into projects costing more than €155 million (£128.4m) through co-financing support by applicants, the Commission said.
European Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said: “Energy is fundamental for every area of development; from creating jobs and boosting growth to improving healthcare and enabling people to cook safely. Yet too often, people in rural areas have been left behind – a shocking 84% of those without access to energy now live in the countryside. We need to make sure that our work supports everyone, no matter where they live.”
The Commission aims to spend more than €2 billion (£1.7bn) over the next seven years to support energy projects in Africa.
Around 1.3 billion people worldwide still have no access to electricity.