Investment Forum for Access to Energy: the African Development Bank conducts consultations for the implementation of its strategy on mini-grids in the Sahel

The event also aimed to raise awareness of the Desert to Power initiative and promote strategic investments in solar energy in the Sahel countries.
ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, March 30 , 2023/ — On the sidelines of the Energy Access Investment Forum, held in Abidjan from March 21 to 23, 2023, the African Development Bank ( http://www ) organized two-day consultations with stakeholders in the mini-grid sector in Africa. Objective: to attract the main actors of the sector in order to discuss the strategy of mini-grids that the bank plans to put in place through the Desert to Power taskforce ( ).

The event also aimed to raise awareness of the Desert to Power initiative and to promote strategic investments in solar energy in the countries of the Sahel as a major contribution to the fight against climate change.

The first session, which brought together nearly 50 participants including actors from the private and public sectors and then financial partners, made it possible to discuss the bottlenecks in the promotion of mini-grids in the countries of the Sahel. Participants shared best practices and lessons learned from their experiences.

The second session, which brought together around forty participants, focused on the use of technology platforms to plan, acquire and operate mini-grids and monitor their performance. The results of the two sessions will make it possible to refine and finalize the bank’s intervention strategy in the financing and development of mini-grids in the countries of the Sahel.

The National Focal Points of the Desert to Power Initiative and the Directors General of Rural Electrification Agencies from Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad, met with the Desert to Power Taskforce on 20 March 2023, ahead of the two sessions in order to discuss the challenges of deploying mini-grids in the region. This consultation had been requested, during the 3rd ministerial meeting on the Desert to Power Initiative, held in Nouakchott in December 2022. The energy ministers of these five countries wanted more in-depth discussions for an approach that would make the strategy applicable. in each country given the importance of the deployment of mini-grids in achieving universal access to electricity in the region.

Daniel Schroth, Director of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency at the African Development Bank, welcomed the strong mobilization and the active and fruitful participation of the various delegations. He particularly underlined the need to accelerate the deployment of green mini-grids in the Sahel.

The managing directors of rural electrification agencies welcomed the bank’s initiative, which made it possible to capitalize on various expertise for the development of mini-grids while being based on the specific realities of each country. They expressed their expectations on the final document which they hope will serve as a reference for the deployment of mini-grids in the Sahel countries.

Distributed by APO Group for African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Media contact:
Xiaomi Ollo HIEN
Department of Communication and External Relations

Technical contacts:
Franklin GBEDEY
Head of the Renewable Energy Division

About the Desert to Power Initiative:
Launched in 2019, “Desert to Power” ( ) is a flagship renewable energy and socio-economic development initiative initiated and piloted by the African Development Bank Group . As part of the first strategic priority of the Bank Group’s “High 5s”, the initiative has a great ambition  to light up and supply electricity  to eleven countries in the Sahel region by increasing, by 2030, 10 gigawatts of solar generation capacity through public and private, on-grid and off-grid projects. The initiative should thus provide 250 million people with access to electricity throughout the Sahel region, for socio-economic development purposes. It covers 11 countries in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Chad), where 64% of the population lives without electricity — with consequences for education, health and business.

African Development Bank Group (AfDB)


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