Lomé, 12 June 2019 – Private and public actors participated this Wednesday in the Atelier Off-Grid B2B Togo organised on the sidelines of the first Togo-European Union Economic Forum in Lomé to discuss the issue of access to sustainable energy in the country. 
 
Aware of the enormous potential held by off-grid solutions to advance energy access in support of Togo’s 2030 Electrification Strategy, the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) co-organised, together with the Delegation of the European Union to Togo (EUD), the German Development Cooperation implemented by GIZ and the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Togo, a 1-day Atelier Off-Grid B2B Togo, on 12 June 2019 in Lomé.  
 
The Atelier, which attracted more than 140 participants, aimed to bring together key players in the off- and mini- grid Togolese market. The workshop included national and international private sector representatives such as project developers, investors and technology providers, as well as public sector officials from the Government of Togo and local authorities, and international development partners.  
 
For Bruno Hanses, Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of the Delegation of the European Union to Togo, "the development of renewable energies is a top priority for the European Union, as it is the only way to meet the needs of rural populations in developing countries while continuing to fight climate change." 
 
Although Togo has recently experienced some improvement in the country’s energy access rate, the disparities between urban and rural areas remain acute, at a rate of 87% in big cities against 7% in rural areas in 2017 (AfDB, 2016). 
 
"Energy is no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity. It is essential for policymakers to consider issues such as access to energy in their development policies, and this is what the Head of State Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé recommends to us in order to satisfy the energy needs of the Togolese people. In this contemporary era, the use of off-grid systems is a more dynamic, profitable and beneficial solution", mentioned Mr. Dèdèriwè Ably-Bidamon, Minister of Mines and Energies of the Togolese Republic
 
With the aim of increasing visibility about the renewable energy business opportunities in the country and facilitating investments in local mini-grid and standalone projects, the event identified the best financing options and linked key players of the country’s energy sector with national and international off-grid experts, project developers and financiers.  
 
Dr. Markus Wagner, Country Director, GIZ in Togo: "We are particularly pleased to offer a B2B opportunity with this event because in the case of Togo, the involvement of the private sector in achieving its national development plan and SDGs objectives is of great interest at national and international level. It is the perfect opportunity to connect local, international, financial, public sector and technical and financial partners to explore the opportunities of implementing the electrification strategy"
 
For Marcus Wiemann, Executive Director of Alliance for Rural Electrification, "this workshop is an opportunity for investors, project developers and other stakeholders to learn about upcoming support projects, innovative products and new business models to accelerate rural electrification in Togo. We strongly believe that B2B will support the Forum's objectives of attracting the private sector interested in the off-grid segment". 
 
With a production capacity that can cover 65% of its energy consumption, Togo relies on its neighbours to fill the energy gap. In order to reduce this dependence and to allow more Togolese especially in rural areas to access electricity, the government is actively engaged in setting ambitious national targets to increase the electrification rate to 50% by 2020 and 100% by 2030. This shift in political focus thus creates a strong momentum and increases the attractiveness of the Togolese market for Togolese and foreign companies. 

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