A program to improve access to energy has expanded into Mali and Senegal, Lighting Africa will for the first time work in francophone countries, building on its work in Kenya and Ghana. This joint IFC/World Bank program is implemented in partnership with several agencies including the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).
In Mali, Lighting Africa will develop a quality seal for solar portable lamps and pilot lamp sales in selected concession areas, building on the successful electricity expansion project in the country. In Senegal, the program will introduce quality lanterns in rural and peri-urban locations.
Lighting Africa will work in Senegal and Mali under a Memoranda of Understanding with the Malian Agency for Household Energy and Rural Electrification (AMADER) and the Senegalese Agency for Rural Electrification (ASER), which were drafted at workshops involving representatives from government agencies, local private industry, NGOs, and local and international lantern manufacturers.
Lighting Africa has also deepened its activities in East Africa. In Ethiopia, the program, with the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines and Energy, will build distribution channels for off-grid lighting products, provide access to finance for the importers and distributors of those products, promote quality products and develop consumer awareness about alternatives to kerosene based lighting. Lighting Africa will be implemented as part of the World Bank’s Energy Access Project.
In Tanzania, the Rural Electrification Agency has signed five grant agreements for the winners of the Lighting Rural Tanzania competition held earlier this year. The grants of up to US$100,000 are being provided to innovative proposals to extend affordable off-grid lighting to Tanzanian rural households and businesses.