Call for action to accelerate the deployment of minigrids in Africa

Berlin, 11 June 2019 

Today at the 5th African LEDS Partnership Mini-Grids Community of Practice Meeting at the Global NDC Conference, a group of officials from 10 African countries call on their governments, the donor community, philanthropists, and the private sector to work in a collaborative and complementary manner to accelerate the deployment of clean, renewable energy, particularly through mini-grids. We affirm that access to clean, reliable energy is foundational to meeting Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), adapting to a rapidly changing climate, and achieving domestic social and economic development priorities. The members of the LEDS Global Partnership’s African Minigrid Community of Practice are committed to working together to integrate clean energy microgrids as core elements of our electrification and development strategies.

We, the representatives from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Zambia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Cameroon in collaboration with other members of the Africa Mini-Grids Community of Practice call on a wide group of international and national stakeholders to renew their commitment to deploying clean energy access to unlock the socio-economic potential of roughly 600 million people on the continent.

We call on governments, the donor community, philanthropists, and the private sector to increase action on SDG 7 and work towards meeting NDC targets for the energy sector.

We call for scaled support from the international donor community in the following areas:

  • Fostering African leadership and ambition on clean energy mini-grid development through high-level political engagement and country-to-country exchanges, training, and technical collaboration and support across the continent;
  • Supporting accelerated work on access to international climate funds for African clean energy goals local public and private finance mobilization and de-risking strategies; and
  • Supporting innovative pilot programs and projects that advance pioneering solutions and local socio-economic development benefits, reflect our collective priorities, and enable replication and learning across countries.

We note that grid-tied electricity and large state-owned and private utilities have been subsidised throughout history, but the same level of support is not apparent for small-scale energy systems, whilst they remain the least-cost option and the most viable solution – and in some instances, the only hope – for communities to be electrified.

We encourage our governments, the international donor community, and the private sector to commit the capital required to de-risk the mini-grids sector and to do so in collaboration with international and domestic financial institutions.As members of this community, we encourage African governments to establish the required policy and regulatory frameworks that are conducive to accelerating the deployment of clean energy on the continent.

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