Growing Government Engagement in Energy Access (GGE-EA)
Phase 1: 2020 -2022
Phase 2: 2022 -2026
GGE-EA is a key partnership, between CLUB-ER and SouthSouthNorth (SSN)’s African Mini-Grids Community of Practice (AMG-CoP) under the African Climate Action Partnership (AfCAP), formerly the Africa LEDS Partnership (AfLP). The AMG-CoP brings together African government representatives from governmental departments, Rural Electrification Agencies and National Energy Commissions with representatives from private sector, academia and International Organisations who design, finance and implement mini-grid systems.
The African Association for Rural Electrification/CLUB-ER is a bilingual network (English/French) which brings together about 40 agencies and structures in charge of rural electrification in 35 countries of the continent. CLUB-ER serves as a forum for discussions amongst all African stakeholders in charge of developing and implementing RE, increasing access to modern, affordable and reliable electricity services in rural areas. CLUB-ER aims to accelerate the deployment of mini-grids in Africa, increasing use of affordable decentralized clean energy options for poor households and enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
FERDI (Foundation pour les études et recherches sur le développement international )
Governments have an important role to play in facilitating an enabling environment for large scale roll-out of off-grid systems. For most Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, however, min-grid regulatory frameworks remain inadequate /weak and/or mon-conducive to the private sector. Main hurdles of the full deployment of mini-grids include weak institutions e.g. resources allocated to rural electrification agencies, poor licensing frameworks which further delay implementation of project and increase project development costs, limited ongoing monitoring and evaluation capability to collect the evidence of successful projects and replicate lessons learnt, and inability of the private sector to charge cost-reflective tariffs in the absence of a sustainable subsidy scheme and therefore affecting the ability to attract further private capital and industry sustainability. In addition to the challenges with regulations, more than half (60%) of mini-grid projects in SSA were found to fail within 6 months due to the lack of stakeholder co-operation, planning and implementation, poor maintenance capacities and lack of local acceptance.
The GGE-EA project aims to expand its South-South capacity building programme (developed during phase I of the project) targeting public officials i.e. ministries, local government and Rural Electrification Agencies (REAs), for the off-grid sector. It aims to improve datasets, understanding of why mini-grids projects fail, and foster greater public-private engagement to ensure more bankable mini-grid projects are developed. The project intends to benefit rural communities within Sub-Saharan Africa through the provision of affordable and reliable energy access.
The project will aim to include the notion of inclusivity in energy access to promote the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern electricity for all). Through building the capacity of public sector officials and decision makers, this project seeks to create an enabling environment in governments for the large-scale implementation of mini-grids to facilitate enhanced energy access in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The intended impact is to increase the use of affordable, decentralized, clean energy options for poor households and enterprises in SSA.
GGE-EA Phase I
During GGE-EA phase I the COVID pandemic caused a shift from in-person workshops and meetings to a series of Small Private Online Courses (SPOC). During GGE-EA I, 3 SPOCs were developed and 58 officials participated in the training.
GGE-EA Phase II
Through building the capacity of public sector officials and decision makers, phase II aims to create an enabling environment in governments for the large-scale implementation of mini-grids to facilitate enhanced energy access in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The project seeks to improve understanding of why mini-grid projects fail prematurely and develop relevant databases to support the development of bankable mini-grids.
Observations from CLUB-ER engagements indicate that the private sector lacks reliable data needed to plan, implement and maintain cost-effective mini-grids projects. The second phase of the project will aim to: continue and expand online training; improve data on mini-grids; host a number of public-private engagement forums; and support peer learning within the mini-grid space.
The project will achieve the above through 4 main Work Packages (WP):
- WP 1: Setting-up curriculum and course materials and implementation of online training for rural electrification officials
- WP 2: Establish a reliable database in mini-grid to support planning through improved evaluation and viability of rural electrification solutions
- WP 3: Facilitating public-private sector engagement to support collaboration
- WP 4: Capture and disseminate lessons learned from GGE-EA project
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