The sum of $7 million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has been approved by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) for meeting the needs of the continent’s fast-evolving renewable mini-grid industry and promoting the Africa Mini-Grid Market Acceleration Programme (AMAP).
The Africa Mini-Grid Market Acceleration Programme (AMAP) is aimed at expanding the private mini-grid investments on the African continent and to include three core components, such as the implementation of a new and standardized framework for national-scale Mini-Grid Acceleration Programmes (MAPs) in four countries, the design and enhancement of financial de-risking solutions, and support for knowledge, innovation, and skills development activities, including the continuation of the Bank’s Green Mini-Grid Help Desk website.
What they are saying
According to Dr. Kevin Kariuki, the Bank’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth,
- “Mini-grids are an integral and increasingly important feature of the energy access solution, not just in terms of providing lights to households, but also in ensuring that underserved populations have access to productive uses of energy to power inclusive and green economic growth. AMAP underscores the African Development Bank’s commitment to strengthening Africa’s mini-grids industry, which we see as a key driver for accelerated energy access, climate resilience, and a green post COVID-19 recovery”
In the words of Aaron Leopold, CEO of the Africa Minigrid Developers Association,
- “Mini-grids are a fundamental but under-supported element of Africa’s energy future. To achieve SDG 7 – the UN’s target for universal energy access, the sector must be radically scaled up and to do this, a holistic and broad spectrum support programme informed by industry needs is required to bring governments, investors, and of course the mini-grid sector the kind of support that can facilitate fast and efficient progress. For these reasons, AMDA is excited to see AfDB working to bring mini-grid investments in Africa to the next level.”
What you should know
- AMAP’s initial phase is expected to lead to 880,000 new electricity access connections providing modern energy access to over 4 million people and over 80 MW of renewable energy-based generation.
- Over 7,200 full-time jobs would be created, out of which 1,800 are anticipated to be held by women.
- There shall be reductions of over 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq) in lifetime greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the facilitation of an estimated $650 million of public and private investments in mini-grids.
Why it matters
With Mini-grids, there can be facilitation of easier energy access for a wide spectrum of uses. They are expected to provide electricity to power households and institutions, such as schools, hospitals and local businesses, thereby enabling greater economic activities in the regions where they are deployed.