Two dozen Malian villages will be enjoying electricity in the near future.
In early March, Water and Energy Minister Malick Alhousseini announced at an official launch event a $19 million USD rural electrification project for Macina Cercle. The project, led by the Agence Malienne pour le Développement de l'Energie Domestique et l'Electrification Rurale (AMADER), will construct two solar power plants, one in Saye and one in Sarro.
AMADER estimates that the plants will become operational by the end of 2021. The plants will provide 24 villages with access to electricity.
"This is the first time that villages are solely electrified with solar power plants and it is also the first time that electricity is provided to several villages by a single power plant," stated Alhousseini.
Mali is one of the most impoverished countries in the world, with nearly half the population below the $1.25 USD daily income international poverty line. More than 70% of the population do not have access to electricity. AMADER's project, which will affect more than 200,000 residents, shows promise in creating new opportunities for the country.
Mali has rich mineral deposits, including uranium, gold, kaolinite, and limestone. Modernising the country with large-scale infrastructure projects, such as through the construction of solar power plants, will help build capacity across the country for the industrial work needed to harvest these resources (and provide royalties for the public purse). The Sankarani River watershed near Sarro has large gold and iron deposits, and provides great land for agriculture.
As well, large-scale agriculture is a dominant economic activity in the Ségou region, where Macina Cercle is located. Having more widespread access to electricity across the cercle will boost efficiency in this sector.
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Annenberg Learner, Trade, Technology and Culture: The Mali Empire in West Africa (PDF download).
Wikipedia, Economy of Mali
Wikipedia, Ségou Region