On 12-14 March we participated to ARE’s Energy Access Investments Forum in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. We participated as speakers in the panel “Business models for clean energy mini-grids: creating nexi between off-grid renewable energy and productive uses of energy”, and conveyed the following messages:
- To ensure that electrification has a broader developmental impact in Sub-Saharan Africa, four complementary strategies are needed: (1) a comprehensive rural development strategy, (2) the promotion of off-grid electrification solutions, (3) the promotion of productive use of energy, (4) the promotion of a clear and transparent regulatory framework.
- Electrification should be in the agenda of every African government. Considering the capital intensity and the technological complexity of these investments, many Sub-Saharan African countries are facing challenges to achieve universal access to energy. Private companies of the energy sector can be effective in filling this gap, while local governments should put in place measures to support investments and reduce investment risks.
- Innovative partnerships between actors of different sectors (energy, water and agriculture) as well as between private, public and no-profit will be the key to ensure impact for the rural development of SSA, and to prove the sustainability and scalability of investments in rural electrification and rural development.