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World Bank funds Ethiopian power grid

July 2, 2010 at 11:06 AM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, July 2 (UPI) -- A $180 credit for Ethiopia will help the country increase the amount of electricity available to rural communities, the World Bank said.

The World Bank said it awarded the additional financing to help the Ethiopian government expand electricity coverage for its citizens.

The bank said that despite development in the African nation, more than 80 percent of the population is living without modern electricity.

"It is the objective of the World Bank and the government of Ethiopia to radically change this situation," the bank said in a statement.

The $180 million credit supports upgrades in several major Ethiopian cities, including the capital Addis Ababa. Rural projects would expand the electricity coverage in about 50 villages, increasing the total coverage area for around 700,000 people.

Raihan Elahi, a task manager at the World Bank, said work in Ethiopia has "has expanded electricity access to a large number of rural and small town dwellers on a sustainable basis, and supported income-generating activities made possible by the new power supply."

The bank added that the lack of electricity in Ethiopia is dragging on economic growth.

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