EAIF 2023: the energy access financing event opens on 21 March in Abidjan

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EAIF 2023: The financing of energy access meeting opens on 21 March in Abidjan ©ARE

Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory Coast, will host the 2023 edition of the Energy Access Investment Forum (EAIF) from March 21 to 23. This event focused on the thorny issue of financing access to renewable energy will host several of the world's decision makers, energy access providers and financial partners.

All eyes will be on Abidjan from March 21 to 23, 2023. The Ivorian economic capital will host the year’s leading event on financing energy access in Africa. An essential service that remains a luxury for many Africans. In terms of electricity alone, 600 million people still do not have access to it despite the gradual reduction in the price of production equipment and the mobilization of funding in recent years.

These issues will be on the agenda at the Energy Access Investment Forum (EAIF) 2023. This year’s event, organized by the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), will bring together up to 350 private and public financiers, energy and climate investors, development finance institutions, international financing partners, government representatives and private companies. EAIF 2023 is hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), a multi-donor trust fund managed by the AfDB.

Involvement of electricity service providers

These two financial partners are very active in the green energy sector for electrification in Africa. A few weeks ago, the AfDB and SEFA released more than $137 million for the electrification of several cities and towns in Niger. Alongside these key players, the European platform GET.invest and the open source data and transaction platform Prospect are also supporting EAIF 2023.

Other players expected to attend on March 21, 2023 in Abidjan include Engie Energy Acces, the subsidiary of French group Engie that offers decentralized electricity access solutions, including solar home systems and solar mini-grids. Fellow French company Schneider Electric, which provides digital energy and automation solutions for efficiency and sustainability, is also a partner in the 2023 Energy Access Investment Forum.

Financing access to renewable energy

The event will host 20 exhibitors and no less than 80 speakers. Among them is Bärbel Höhn, the special representative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for energy in Africa. Germany, which supports the deployment of renewable energy in Africa through several initiatives, including through the AfricaGoGreen Fund (AGGF) launched by its development agency, the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW).

Beatrice Muthoni of the British investment company InfraCo Africa will also be present. So will representatives of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group’s private sector financing arm. Financing access to energy will be at the heart of the discussions. In Africa, renewable energies are struggling despite a huge potential.

The fall of investments in 2021

According to a report by BloombergNEF published on the occasion of the 27th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27) in Egypt, investments in renewable energy worldwide have climbed by 9% year-on-year to reach their highest level ever in 2021. Meanwhile, it has dropped by 35% in Africa, which accounts for only 0.6% of the $434 billion invested in renewable energy worldwide.

“Only $2.6 billion in capital was deployed for wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable energy projects in 2021, the lowest in 11 years,” the report details. The 2022 review remains highly anticipated, especially since it is considered the year of recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic that shook all business sectors around the world.

For more information on EAIF 2023, click here.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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