Rural Electrification Strategies/Africa Electrification Initiative (RES-AEI)
The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook indicates that, without a change in policies, roughly 1.4 billion people will not have access to electricity by 2030. Sub-Saharan Africa alone will count 500 million people without access to modern energy services, especially in rural areas, where electricity access rates are as low as 23%.
In early 2008, ESMAP launched the Lighting Africa initiative to provide up to 250 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa with access to affordable non-fossil fuel based lighting and energy products.The goal of this initiative is to enhance quality of life and reduce poverty in rural areas of that region by offering an alternative to current fossil fuel based options, such as kerosene, that are inefficient and hazardous. Lighting Africa is jointly managed by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The following types of services are provided under this initiative:
- Market Information: Through research, Lighting Africa is compiling and sharing critical business information with companies and organizations interested in entering the Africa off-grid lighting market.
- Quality Assurance: Lighting Africa, in consultation with other stakeholders, is developing a multi-pronged quality assurance program to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions, as well as aid manufacturers to improve product quality to best meet consumer needs.
- Business Linkages: Strengthening ties between the global lighting industry and local service providers to design, develop, and deliver lighting products to off-grid communities in Africa.
- Consumer Awareness: Lighting Africa is planning to conduct consumer awareness and information campaigns in a number of African countries that will empower consumers to make educated purchasing decisions.