AFRICA: AMDA joins forces with COMESA for electrification through green mini-grids
The Africa Minigrid Developers Association (AMDA) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) are committed to helping electrify rural areas. The two partners will support the development of green mini-grids in Eastern and Southern Africa.
A new partnership is emerging for electrification via green mini-grids in Africa. The agreement was recently signed between the Africa Minigrid Developers Association (AMDA) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), a sub-regional organization of 21 countries. The aim of this rapprochement is to facilitate the installation of these decentralized systems that accelerate the electrification of rural areas in Africa.
Specifically, the two organizations are committed to working to improve the quality of data collection and dissemination on the mini-grid sector within COMESA member countries. Also, the two partners want to improve the availability of financial instruments in order to increase “the sustainability of the sector and support programs that create synergies with the agriculture, health and education sectors,” says AMDA.
According to the Nairobi, Kenya-based association, these measures will be backed by an overall commitment to work with COMESA states to develop and implement policies and regulations that support mini-grids as a tool for Africa to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7, which calls for universal access to clean and affordable energy.
This partnership comes at a time when COMESA countries are already adopting decentralized renewable energy as an alternative for rural electrification. These solutions are particularly popular in Uganda. This East African country is at the center of a mini-grid electrification project led by Winch Energy IPP Holdings (WIPP). This is a financing mechanism set up by Winch Energy in partnership with NEoT Off-grid Africa, a platform developed by Electricité de France (EDF), the Japanese firm Mitsubishi and Meridiam, a French company specialized in the development, financing and management of infrastructure projects. WIPP aims to provide access to electricity to 60,000 people (including in Sierra Leone) through 49 solar mini-grids.