Back-to-back with the SEforALL Global Forum held in Lisbon recently, the SEforALL Africa Hub held its Fifth Annual Africa Workshop under the headline “Financing the Pipeline.” Over 70 participants from public and private sector, financial institutions, developments partners and civil society participated in a lively debate about the need for a country-led coordination of the implementation of SEforALL Action Agendas and to leverage SEforALL Investment Prospectuses to fast-track investments towards achieving the SDG 7 targets in Africa.
The workshop was opened by the CEO of SEforALL, Rachel Kyte, the Coordinator of Power Africa, Andrew Herscowitz, representatives of Hub partners from African Union, NEPAD and UNDP and Daniel Schroth Adviser to the Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth.
Kyte noted the progress made by a number of East African countries in providing electricity access that needs to be replicated and challenged the donor community to be less risk averse, faster in deploying resources and more focused on supporting underfinanced areas, such as clean cooking.
Herscowitz emphasized the importance of getting a few deals across the finishing line to demonstrate viability and attract more investments.
Schroth said that “current efforts towards universal energy access are falling short and that we need to collectively find solutions to move faster.”
The discussion confirmed the continued relevance of the SEforALL Action Agendas and Investment Prospectuses but underlined the need to strengthen the involvement of the private sector in the development of Investment Prospectuses to make sure they respond to their needs, to improve project screening and to transform the IPs into “living documents” to capture the evolving nature of the pipeline and the sector.
These recommendations are in line with the key priority areas of the Africa Hub for the coming year, namely: 1) Strengthening of the Investment Prospectuses, 2) Institutionalization of the processes at country level including through the establishment of National SEforALL Secretariats, and 3) Mobilization of Financing.
In closing remarks, Joao Duarte Cunha, the Bank’s Manager for Energy Initiatives and Partnerships, highlighted various initiatives under way at the Bank to attract more private investments to Africa and underscored that a high quality “Investment Prospectus” can play an instrumental role in connecting projects to financiers.
During the SEforALL Forum, the African Development Bank also announced the launch of the redesigned Green Mini-grid Help Desk under Phase 2 of the Bank’s GMG Market Development Programme funded by the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA). The new Help Desk now offers a wider range of knowledge products and also provides technical assistance services to public sector stakeholders for the design of GMG policy and regulations complementing the support to mini-grid developers. The Help Desk has been providing technical assistance to some 60 developers in 30 African countries to date.
Furthermore, the Steering Committee of the Mini-Grids Partnership (MGP) – African Development Bank, Department for International Development (DFID), World Bank, Power Africa, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), EU Energy Initiative (EUEI), Rockefeller and UN Foundations, Alliance for Rural Electrification, Power for All, SNV, African Mini-Grid Developers’ Association and Club-ER – also met in Lisbon to discuss the Strategic Plan 2018-2019, and appointed the Bank’s Daniel Schroth as the new Chairman of the Steering Committee