29 March, 2019 Press release

5th ARE Energy Access Investment Forum moves to Africa

Abidjan, 15 March 2019 – The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), in partnership with the African Development Bank and the GET.invest programme (formerly RECP), is excited to announce that the 5th ARE Energy Access Investment Forum brought together more than 260 participants (330 registrants and with more than half coming from Africa) to Abidjan, Ivory Coast on 13-14 March 2019.

Dr. Daniel Schroth, Ag. Director, Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency, African Development Bank“The African Development Bank was delighted to host the 5th Energy Access Investment Forum – the first on the African continent. The Forum has proven to be an excellent platform for discussing innovative funding initiatives, new business models, regulatory frameworks and local capacity building to support access to off- and mini-grid renewable energy. Meeting the universal electricity access objective within the next decade will require the roll-out of off- and mini-grid solutions at scale. In support of this objective, the Bank has developed financing instruments to engage the off- and mini-grid sector through its sponsorship and anchor investment in the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI), a USD 500 million debt financing facility targeting small scale renewable energy projects.”

The Forum, supported by SEforALL, Club-ER, ECREEE and UNIDO, convened public, private and other stakeholders with the goal to boost clean energy access globally and in particular in Africa, where 588 million people still lack electricity. To intensify the exchange with players from and outside Africa, ARE also held its Annual General Meeting in conjunction with the Forum the day before and foresaw French translation.

Building on the success of previous editions, and in addition to showcasing the upcoming political and de-risking initiatives, the Forum served to discuss latest trends and innovations as well as contributed to socio-economic growth with 265 B2B matchmaking meetings being held between local, regional and international market players.

Marcus Wiemann, ARE Executive Director and Conference Chair“The event is an opportunity for investors, project developers and other stakeholders to learn more about upcoming support schemes, innovative products and new business models to accelerate rural electrification and advance the market for decentralised renewable energies. We are very excited to move the Forum to Africa for the first time and we are grateful for the support we have received from leading partners active in the continent to make the Forum happen.”

In light of building strong links between the EU and Africa, ARE and ECREEE have pledged to support SMEs and start-ups to upscale decentralised renewable energy and cross-sectoral collaborations in the ECOWAS region. The Forum also gave recognition to companies and organisations, which have made special contributions to advance the rural electrification sector.

In its fourth year running, this year’s ARE Awards were discerned to:

  • UNCDF Clean Start (Thailand) (Multilateral / International Organisations)
  • Guakia Ambiente (Dominican Republic) (NGOs and Foundations)
  • TESVOLT Australia / TESVOLT Germany (Private Sector in Developed Countries)
  • Artgeo Foundation, Inc. (Liberia) (Private Sector in Developing Countries)
  • Hemeva. S.A.S. & Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Colombia – MREC (Colombia) (Government in Developing Country)
  • Mytilineos S.A. (Greece) (Best Off-grid Project)
  • LIFI-LED Liberia Inc. (Best Start-Up; new category)

With the overall goal to build win-win partnerships, the Forum also featured side-events from the Agence Togolaise d’Electrification Rurale et des Energies Renouvelables, ElectriFI, GET.invest, Swedfund and UNIDO.

The B2B Matchmaking supported by the GET.invest programme gave participants the opportunity to meet potential business partners and advance projects during face-to-face B2B meetings. 125 participants took part in more than 265 B2B meetings where participants had the chance to meet with potential business partners.

Jan Cloin, GET.invest Deputy Team Leader: “As a first-time in Africa, the ARE team did a great job in mobilising both private companies as well as financiers and government representatives in the off-grid space. The event has led to impressive results in both absolute numbers as well as quality of conference content. It was a great place for our first B2B matchmaking service under the new European programme GET.invest, supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria. We expect this event to be another boost to EU and African partnerships which would contribute to an increasing pipeline of investments in off-grid renewable energy.”


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