Industry announces initiatives to turbocharge electricity access investments at EAIF 2023
30 March 2023, Abidjan – The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) organised its flagship event, ARE Energy Access Investment Forum (EAIF), in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on 21-23 March 2023. The event was co-hosted by African Development Bank (AfDB) and Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) and made possible by GET.invest and Prospect. GET.invest and Prospect are supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria.
This year’s edition of EAIF echoed its previous success and attracted more than 1,500 registrations, of which about 400 joined on-site and more than 500 connected for virtual sessions. EAIF 2023 enabled delegates to enjoy insightful sessions, an exhibition and GET.invest matchmaking opportunities. The Delegates included more than 70 private and public financiers, and many energy and climate investors, development finance institutions, international funding partners, government officials and private sector companies.
The Forum saw key industry announcements and pledges to reach universal clean energy access by 2030. It saw Schneider Electric, Capelan, Capital Croissance and Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) and Gaia Impact announced their partnership to launch Gaia Energy Impact Fund II, which aims at a final closing by the first half of 2024 for a total target amount of €80M. In addition, ENGIE Energy Access announced their new partnership with CarbonClear to finance the access to energy challenge in Africa through the Voluntary Carbon Market. The second phase of GET.invest was equally announced in the context of the event.
David Lecoque, CEO of ARE said: “We are delighted to return to Abidjan for EAIF 2023, where we have welcomed hundreds of delegates from various corners of the world, involved in investments, project development, the supply of renewable energy equipment, government and beyond. The event spanned three days and generated numerous partnerships, declarations and commitments. We look forward to witnessing the positive outcomes of these new collaborations both in terms of energy and climate, as we progress towards the 2030 agenda.”
Dr. Daniel Schroth, Director of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Department African Development Bank said: “As the co-hosts of EAIF 2023, we were honoured to provide a platform for Governments, private sector and development partners to discuss how to accelerate the deployment of decentralised energy access solutions in Africa, promote productive uses of energy, and channel more financing to the sector. The African Development Bank is committed to increasing its support to decentralised renewables including through the Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA)”.
Overall, the event featured thematic & country sessions and interactive panels to advance on concrete topics and keep up with the latest trends in the decentralised renewable energy sector. In addition to the packed agenda, on-site delegates also had the chance to experience the state-of-the-art exhibition and GET.invest matchmaking sessions. Furthermore, the networking receptions held during the initial two days of the event were the icing on the cake, allowing the participants to unwind and connect with their peers after a long and productive conference day.
Every participant has valuable knowledge that deserves to be uncovered, shared and tapped into. Thanks to GET.invest matchmaking, powered by Braindate, on-site delegates could openly post their knowledge through one-on-one or small group discussion topics, thereby fostering meaningful dialogues and business partnerships. At the end of the event, the matchmaking sessions facilitated 617 new connections among delegates, discussing about 130 topics.
Ilham Talab, Senior Advisor of GET.invest said: “Once again, EAIF has successfully brought together stakeholders that demonstrate the continued innovation of the sector in many ways. At the same time, much remains to be done and GET.invest – backed by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria – is committed to continue supporting sustainable energy companies and projects in Africa to become more bankable and access the capital they need to grow. We are also excited for the future of the data platform Prospect, being an open-source and open access, cutting-edge energy access digital platform serving governments, investors and entrepreneurs with the aim of unlocking finance for energy access.”
Finally, EAIF 2023 was supported by an exceptional array of sponsors and strategic partners from the DRE sector including Schneider Electric as the Diamond Sponsor, ENGIE Energy Access and International Copper Association as Gold Sponsors, ADA Microfinance, EDP and Zayed Sustainability Prize as Silver Sponsors. Bronze Sponsors included Greeno, I-REC Standard, NRECA International, REPP, and Turbulent Hydro. The event’s key strategic partner was GIZ-Green People’s Energy for Africa. Other strategic partners included ADEME, CLUB-ER, CORE Initiative, Energy Catalyst, International Finance Corporation, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and UNIDO.