The African Development Bank has approved a $7 million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), for technical assistance in setting up a mini-grid acceleration initiative to meet the needs of the continent’s fast-evolving renewable mini-grid industry.

The Africa Mini-Grid Market Acceleration Programme (AMAP) aims to boost energy access in remote regions and enhance climate resilience in Africa. It includes three core components. One, the implementation of a new and standardised framework for national-scale Mini-Grid Acceleration Programmes (MAPs) in four countries across Africa. Two, the design and enhancement of financial de-risking solutions. Three, support for knowledge, innovation, and skills development activities, including the continuation of the Bank’s Green Mini-Grid Help Desk website.

The aim of the AMAP is to transform the scale of public and private investments in renewable energy mini-grids throughout Africa, including such initiatives as the Green Mini-Grid Market Development Programme, the Nigeria National Electrification Project, and the DRC Green Mini-Grid Programme.

AMAP’s initial phase in four countries is expected to lead to 880,000 new electricity access connections providing energy access to over 4 million people and generate over 80 MW of renewable energy. The programme will also facilitate an estimated $650 million of public and private investments in mini-grids. The programme is also aligned to the ambitions of the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa as well as the Global Sustainable Development Goals.

“Mini-grids are an integral and increasingly important feature of the energy access solution, not just in terms of providing lights to households, but also in ensuring that underserved populations have access to productive uses of energy to power inclusive and green economic growth. AMAP underscores the African Development Bank’s commitment to strengthening Africa’s mini-grids industry, which we see as a key driver for accelerated energy access, climate resilience, and a green post Covid-19 recovery,” said Dr Kevin Kariuki, the Bank’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth.