Off-grid solar power, spearheaded by a variety of start-ups, has gained in popularity in Africa because it can affordably connect millions of homes which are left off mainstream electricity grids to clean power.
The Opec Fund for International Development (OFID) is providing Madagascar with $36.5 million in loans and grants to accelerate access to clean cooking. The aim is to reduce deforestation in the East African country.
The Universal Energy Facility has reached a milestone – it verified its first set of electricity connections: 542 connections to mini-grids across eight communities in Madagascar. With that, the facility has also disbursed its first grant, with mini-grid developer WeLight receiving USD 592 per connection.
The Africa Minigrid Developers Association (AMDA), represented by Chief Executive Officer, Jessica Stephens, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) represented by the Secretary General, Ms Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations.
In 3 years, nearly 25,000 people have benefited from this rural electrification project. The project was carried out by the company Welight Madagascar, which relied heavily on solar energy.
At least 12 solar kit providers are now benefiting from a grant programme recently launched by the Off-Grid Market Development Fund (OMDF). The fund launched by the Malagasy government in partnership with the World Bank is making a total of $2.5 million available to these companies.
UK battery developer Aceleron has partnered with Malagasy solar start-up Jirogasy to provide solar-powered laptops to school children in Madagascar.
A combined $1.2 million in grant funding to develop mini-grids that will bring electricity to more than 5,200 rural homes and businesses was awarded to three companies in Madagascar.