Major institutions gather to discuss energy objectives


In a joint effort to mobilise key stakeholders to invest in off-grid renewables in developing and emerging markets, the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) together with Energias de Portugal (EDP) and the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) organised a two-day investment forum in Lisbon, Portugal on 22-23 March 2017. The forum was attended by over 300 representatives from the international public and private sector, including high-level institutions, financiers, technical support and solution providers as well as project developers.

Day one of the forum was labelled the ARE Energy Access Investment Summit, and gave participants a chance to deepen their understanding of current policy frameworks, financial trends and technical support tools available and how to best use them. In support of the European Commission’s recent initiative to promote women entrepreneurship, the summit highlighted the importance of empowering women in the sustainable energy sector as key change agents to achieve SEforAll objectives. ARE has, therefore, launched a position paper identifying key recommendations on the policy and regulatory level to address women’s needs, constraints and opportunities.

The forum also gave recognition to companies and organisations which have made special contributions to advance the rural electrification sector. In its second year running, this year’s ARE Awards were discerned to:

  • GIZ (multilateral / international organisations).
  • Kopernik (NGOs and foundations).
  • Daily Life Renewable Energy (private sector in developed countries).
  • Solarkiosk AG (private sector in developing countries).
  • Tanzania (government in developing country).
  • Solar Sister (best off-grid project).

The forum also paid tribute to inspiring young leaders advocating and working to improve access to clean energy services in Africa. The Young Leaders in Energy Access Awards is an initiative of the Energy Access work stream under the Africa-EU Energy Partnership. The winners of the Awards were:

  • Abdirahman Abdilahi (Ethiopia), energy technical advisor, Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Somaliland.
  • Astria Fataki (France), founder and president, Energy Generation.
  • Dina Ramaromandray (Madagascar), Ministry of Energy and Hydrocarbons.
  • Sayouba Guira (Burkina Faso), general director, Nafa Naana.
  • Simon Kiragu (Kenya), project officer, wPowerhub
  • Marta Pascual Santodomingo (Spain), community development coordinator, Trama TecnoAmbiental.

Building upon the strong foundation created by discussions and announcements on day one, day two of the forum was named the B2B Off-grid Matchmaking, and featured presentations on off-grid markets in Nigeria, Rwanda, Zambia and Senegal, as well as a presentation of key initiatives from the African Development Bank. This was followed by structured B2B matchmaking sessions where participants could network and identify potential business partners and financiers. About 230 parties engaged in more than 600 direct meetings.

Finally, in parallel with the B2B matchmaking session, 35 Vlerick Business School students offered free consulting services on business challenges presented by six companies, focusing on investment analysis, business model formulation and financial modelling.

Contact Ling Ng, Alliance for Rural Electrification,


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