The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $ 7 million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) for a new technical assistance initiative that meets the needs of the continent’s fast-growing mini-grid industry.
The African mini-network market acceleration program (AMAP), which aims to expand the private investing in a mini-network on the African continent, will include three key components: the implementation of a new and standardized framework for national mini-network acceleration programs (MAPs) in four countries; design and improvement of risk-free financial solutions; and support for knowledge, innovation and skills development activities, including the continuation of the Bank’s Green Mini-Grid Help Desk website.
“Mini-grilles are an integral and increasingly important feature of energy access solutions, not only in terms of providing light to households, but also ensuring that low-consumption populations have access to productive energy use for inclusion and green economic growth. “AMAP emphasizes the African Development Bank’s commitment to strengthening the African mini-grid industry, which we see as a key driver of accelerated energy access, climate resilience and a green recovery from COVID-19,” he said. Dr. Kevin Kariuki, AfDB vice president for energy, energy, climate and green growth.
AMAP’s initial phase is expected to lead to 880,000 new electricity access connections providing modern energy access to more than four million people; more than 80MW of production based on renewable energy; creation of 7,200 full-time jobs, of which 1,800 are projected to be held by women; reductions of more than 6.5 million tons carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq) in life greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and enabling about $ 650 million in public and private investment in mini-networks.
According to Aaron Leopold, CEO of the company African Association of Minigrid Developers, “Achieve SDG 7,The UN goal of universal access to energy, the sector must be radically expanded, and to achieve this, a holistic broad-spectrum support program based on industry needs is needed to provide governments, investors and, of course, a mini-grid sector of support which can facilitate rapid and efficient progress. For these reasons, AMDA is excited to see AfDB working on the adoption mini-grid investments in Africa to the next level. “