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The World Bank and the International Development Association (IDA) are providing the Government of Lesotho with up to $52.9 million in funding for the implementation of the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Programme.

IDA is providing up to $40 million in funding and the World Bank an additional $12.9 million to improve access to energy for people living in rural areas and in the outskirts of urban areas, small and medium enterprises and economic centers that are on or off the grid.

IDA and the World Bank will also provide technical assistance to build the capacity of both public and private sectors to ensure sustainable provision of electricity in Lesotho.

The Lesotho Electricity Corporation will upgrade hydro-based mini-grids, provide new metering for new and existing households as well as extend its grid to commercial and industrial consumers.

The project will strengthen the legal and regulatory framework for the deployment of mini-grids and will help finance the construction of mini-grid infrastructure to provide electricity services to new users in up to 40 communities.

Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for Lesotho, Botswana, eSwatini, Namibia and South Africa, said: “Through this project, the World Bank will assist the Government of Lesotho towards achieving its goal of providing universal access and affordable energy in a sustainable manner, while helping improve the lives of Basotho particularly in the hard-to-reach rural areas and peri-urban areas.

“This is in line with the Lesotho National Strategic Development Plan and the World Bank Group twin goals of reducing extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity.”