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AfDB approves SEFA contribution for Green Mini-Grid Market Development Program to scale-up energy access in Africa


The African Development Bank’s Board of Directors approved a US $3-million grant of the Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) for Phase 2 of the Green Mini-Grid Market Development Programme (GMG MDP). Implemented by the Bank-hosted SEforALL Africa Hub, the GMG MDP’s objective is to support the scale-up of investments in commercially viable GMG projects through a broad range of interventions to improve the enabling environment. The project seeks to remove or reduce market barriers at regional scale and strengthen the ecosystem for the emergence of a thriving GMG sector in Sub-Saharan Africa – contributing significantly to the objectives of SEforALL and the New Deal on Energy for Africa.

Phase 1 of the Programme achieved notable successes, including the set-up of the GMG Developers’ Help Desk (http://greenminigrid.se4all-africa.org/), which provides knowledge products and direct technical assistance to GMG developers, and the endorsement of the GMG Africa Strategy by the African Union Ministers meeting on energy in Lomé last March, which establishes a number of essential policy principles to enable GMG development, including simplified licensing and sustainable cost-reflective tariff setting. The GMG MDP has become a central point of reference for mini-grid activities on the continent.

The GMG MDP is increasing in scale and scope as it evolves from its Phase 1 to its Phase 2 including additional activities under its five business lines on market intelligence, business development support, policy & regulatory support, quality assurance and access to finance. This includes inter alia an expansion of the Help Desk and the addition of a Policy Help Desk aimed at public policy makers, additional GMG country market assessment and the development of a state of the mini-grid market in Africa assessment.

Speaking following the Board’s approval, the Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth of the AfDB, Amadou Hott, said, “mini-grids are an important component to addressing the New Deal on Energy for Africa’s target of universal energy access in Africa by 2025 and the GMG MDP will help to overcome some of the key barriers to increased private sector investments in mini-grids.”

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