African Development Bank distances itself from JEDCO
After a week of power cuts triggered by the Juba Electric Distribution Company's (JEDCO) choice to shed power around the capital, the African Development Bank have released a statement distancing itself from the organisation.
'The African Development Bank Group wishes to clarify that the Bank has played no direct role in power generation in Juba and is not involved in any matters concerning the operation and maintenance of the electricity distribution networks in South Sudan', the statement said.
Earlier this week, JEDCO announced that 'a lack of resources and commitment from other stakeholders' had put Juba's power station into a 'critical' condition, forcing a power shutdown throughout the week.
Despite this, the Bank has made it clear that it has sustained funding and finance to electricity distribution products in South Sudan, although it has no hand in governing it.
'The Bank funded the USD 38 million expansion and rehabilitation of the electricity distribution network in Juba. The project was primarily financed through a grant. It was implemented by South Sudan Electricity Corporation, which is the power utility created by the Government. The corporation falls under South Sudan’s Ministry of Energy and Dams'.
This is not the first set of problems faced by JEDCO in recent months. Earlier this year, widespread electricity shortages followed a payment dispute with partner company Ezra Construction and Development Group.
Electricity supply issues aside, the African Development Bank noted the good progress made by its grants in South Sudan.
'On being commissioned in 2019, the African Development Bank-funded project significantly helped to restore electricity supply in the central business district. It has brought electricity to Juba homes, businesses, educational institutions and hospitals. In addition, more than 1,667 of the city’s streetlights are now functional, facilitating night movement and contributing to crime prevention.'
At present the Bank has an active portfolio of $131.18 million in South Sudan, covering a number of sectors including energy, agriculture, health, water and sanitation, education and governance.