The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $7 million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), for technical assistance in setting up a mini-grid acceleration initiative to meet the needs of the continent’s fast-evolving renewable mini-grid industry.
The Africa Mini-Grid Market Acceleration Programme (AMAP), which aims to boost energy access in remote regions and enhance climate resilience throughout Africa, will include three core components: the implementation of a new and standardised 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.
“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,” the Bank’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Dr. Kevin Kariuki said.
By leveraging the Bank’s established leadership and years of experience in building the African mini-grid industry, AMAP’s overarching aim is to transform the scale of public and private investments in renewable energy mini-grids throughout Africa, including such initiatives as the Green Mini-Grid Market Development Programme, the Nigeria National Electrification Project, and the DRC Green Mini-Grid Programme.
CEO of the Africa Minigrid Developers Association, Aaron Leopold, said, “Mini-grids are a fundamental but under-supported element of Africa’s energy future.”