The Japanese firm Mitsubishi has indicated its interest in supplying off-grid energy to the Togolese population. Future collaboration between Togo and Japan will take place within the framework of the Cizo project launched in 2017, which aims to provide electricity to 2 million Togolese by 2022.
The Japanese company Mitsubishi, specialised in the production of motor vehicles, has announced to the general public that it is about to enter the Togolese solar energy market. It will provide off-grid solutions to supply households with electricity. Mitsubishi Africa branch manager Yas Doida announced the decision after a working meeting he held at the end of July (2019) with Togolese Prime Minister Selom Klassou. Japan expects the partnership to enter into force in 2019 and will focus primarily on energy.
Cizo to “light” Togo
To improve access to electricity, the Togolese government is focusing on renewable energies and off-grid production. In 2017, President Faure Gnassingbé launched the Cizo programme, a presidential initiative for rural electrification through individual solar kits. Cizo, which means “to light” in Guin, a language spoken in southern Togo, is a programme that will be completed by the installation of four solar photovoltaic power plants of 30 MW each and 300 mini-grids. The government has very recently authorised the construction of a 30 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Blitta in the central region.
The Cizo programme should provide access to electricity for all rural populations, i.e. 2 million people, thanks to a set of 300,000 solar kits installed on both sides of the country. Each household will be able to charge five lamps, a television and a radio on a 12-volt battery. The total cost of the programme amounts to 103 million euros. Togo has so far received technical support from the British company Bboxx and Soleva, also an authorised local operator, which is responsible for supplying the equipment. The two competitors will therefore also have to rely on Mitsubishi’s imminent arrival on the Togolese market.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has injected €871,000 to ensure the start of the project. The implementation of this programme will generate 9,000 jobs, including 5,000 direct jobs. The Togolese government has also created five regional solar academies to train nearly 2,500 technicians who will be deployed under this programme.
Togo aims to achieve 100% access to electricity by 2030. At the same time, this West African country wants the share of green energy in its energy mix to reach 50%.