SOMALIA: AMP programme puts solar mini-grids at the heart of electrification

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SOMALIA: AMP programme puts solar mini-grids at the heart of electrification © Sebastian Noethlichs/Shutterstock

In partnership with the Somali authorities, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is launching the African Mini Grid Programme (AMP) in Somalia. The aim is to accelerate the country's electrification with these decentralised solutions that already provide 90% of the country's electricity.

The African Mini Grid Programme (AMP) is coming to Somalia. This regional initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has just been launched in the capital Mogadishu in the presence of Somali authorities. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded programme provides technical assistance for the deployment of solar mini-grids through the creation of an enabling environment for private investors.

Implemented in partnership with the US-based Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), the GPA already covers 21 African countries to promote large-scale investments in solar mini-grids to increase access to sustainable and affordable energy while supporting climate action. Nigeria signed up to the programme in October 2022 with the aim of accelerating the electrification of its rural areas through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).

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In Somalia, the programme will be implemented by the local UNDP office in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources. According to UNDP, the MPA programme is tailored to the unique nature of the energy sector in Somalia. Much of Somalia’s public electricity infrastructure was destroyed during the civil war, and the private sector stepped in to create small-scale energy service providers that now generate more than 90% of the country’s electricity.

The UNDP initiative aims to work with this existing ecosystem of electricity service providers (ESPs) to enable the hybridization of existing diesel mini-grids and make solar mini-grids more competitive and affordable. To do this, the AMP programme will focus on supporting digital technologies for clean energy and institutionalising multiple initiatives already underway in the country. According to the World Bank, Somalia has an electrification rate of only 35%.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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