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  • Abidjan – West Africa Powers Ahead in Clean Energy

Abidjan – West Africa Powers Ahead in Clean Energy



Abidjan – West Africa Powers Ahead in Clean Energy


Abidjan (September 18, 2015) – Ten clean energy projects that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions across West Africa by about 920,000 tonnes CO2 equivalent per year, were presented to investors and senior West African officials yesterday in Abidjan at the Second West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF-2).


WAFCEF-2 Opening The African Development Bank (AfDB) hosted WAFCEF-2 in the context of the Africa Energy Week convened by the Bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, and the ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Policy and Investment High Level Forum. WAFCEF2 was opened by key note addresses from Bank’s President Adesina followed by Tony Elumelu, a leading Nigerian investor in the power sector and founding member of the African Energy Leaders Group; Thomas Luhanka, Vice Prime Minister of Democratic Republic of Congo; Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire.


Speaking at the opening session of WAFCEF-2 today, Akinwumi Adesina announced the Bank’s New Deal for Energy in Africa that he had mentioned in his speech when he took office at the begiining of September. The New Deal for Energy in Africa contemplates a $55-billion expansion of AfDB’s support for the energy sector in Africa along with a call for expanded donor support for activities in the sector. Mr. Adesina highlighted the critical role of entrepreneurs in developing projects and businesses in the sector, and held out the experience of Femi Oye of SMEFunds, the winner of the WAFCEF competition in 2013 as an example of the sort of businesses that the AfDB and other institutions must support. 

At the same time, Mr. Adesina called on governments to provide the political commitment to implement regulatory reforms needed to increase the attractiveness of energy sector investments in Africa.  “The shortage of energy in Africa costs lives and limits economic growth and human development,” he said.  “This must change, and while the challenge is very great, we can do this.” Tony Elumelu seconded this point, saying “capital is not necessarily the issue. Policy constraints, non-payment and poor infrastructure make it difficult to undertake projects, or in the case of existing businesses, to undertake expansions. Put the right frameworks in place and capital will flow,” he said.

Vice Prime Minister Thomas Luhanka of DRC underscored the importance of creating the right policy frameworks to foster development of energy projects and services.  “Energy is one of three bases essential for development: development of human resources through education and health programs; natural resources; and energy,” he said. 

Prime Minister Kablan Duncan of Côte d’Ivoire reinforced support for the AfDB initiative to expand financing for the energy sector. “Water is the source of life, he said; energy is the basis for development,” he said. The Prime Minister emphasized that the Government of Côte d’Ivoire has established the ambitious goal for the expansion of electricity generation capacity to 4,000 MW by 2020, more than double the country’s current installed capacity.


More than 200 financiers, clean energy experts and representatives of financial institutions from across Africa and overseas participated in the Forum.  The meeting was organized jointly by the Climate Technology Initiative’s Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN), the AfDB through its Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the Power Africa Initiative of the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID). Other partners included the African Biofuels and Renewable Energy Company (ABREC), and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment & Development (EBID).


“By matching project developers from around the region with investors, this forum helps make projects happen and increases the flow of investment into developing clean energy markets in West Africa” said Peter Storey (CTI PFAN Global Coordinator).


“We are glad to see once again a diverse lot of projects driven by talented entrepreneurs. This is a reflection of the wide of range of ideas and solutions available to electrify the continent in an environmentally and socially sustainable fashion,” said the African Development Bank’s Joao Duarte Cunha, Coordinator of the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA). 


Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director of ECREEE welcomed the WAFCEF2 event as a great opportunity for the private sector to be more involved in the clean energy commitment of the ECOWAS region. He saw the Forum as a “demonstration of the region’s entrepreneurial drive and capacity to tackle West Africa’s energy challenge in a commercially and environmentally sustainable way, which highlights the critical role of renewable energy in the economic development of the region”.


The projects showcased at the Forum represented a total aggregate investment of nearly US$480 million and included bio-fuels, biogas, solar, biomass and hydro-power initiatives developed by entrepreneurs and companies from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal, as well as a regional investment initiative.  

The projects were selected from over 50 submissions from across the ECOWAS region for their economic viability and environmental benefits. Before being presented at the Forum, each of them received intensive mentoring from professional consultants, using the tried and tested CTI PFAN project development and financing methodology to prepare their business plans and groom them for investment. CTI PFAN is currently working on more than 312 clean energy projects across Asia, Africa and Latin America and has already raised over US$ 802 million of investment for implementation of 68 clean energy projects. These projects have established 600 MW of clean generation capacity and reduce GHG emissions by over 2,5 million tonnes CO2 e per annum.  


WAFCEF-2 Winner

From the 10 showcased projects, a panel of independent judges, including representatives of Acumen Fund, the ECOWAS Bank for Investment & Development (EBID), SOVEC and AfDB awarded top honors to Ivoire Hydro Energy SA, developer of the 44-MW Singrobo-Ahouaty hydropower project on the Bandama River in south-central Côte d’Ivoire. The project’s total cost is estimated at USD 128 million.  Following the recent signature of a joint development agreement, the project is well advanced in its development phase (feasibility completed, concession signed and technical design underway). The developer currently seeks up to USD 3 million in additional development capital to support structuring and due diligence activities required to complete the sourcing of the project’s debt / equity financing.


As an indication of the intense competition for the top spots, the judges selected three runners-up in the business plan competition. These were:


· FasoBiogas SARL, which proposes to expand a 275-kW grid-connected biogas-based power plant in Ouagadougou to 1.375 MW in two phases, with a total investment of €2.3 million.  Electricity is generated with biogas, made from vegetable and animal waste coming from the largest brewery in the country as well as a slaughterhouse. Human waste will be introduced to the waste stream in a later refinement in operations.


· The 28-MW Senya Beraku solar PV facility developed by Ghana Capital Partners (GCP), in coastal Ghana west of Accra. Total capital expenditure of USD 56 million. GCP offers to sell two-thirds of project equity if it can find the right investor, beginning the initial phase during which later stage development will also take place.   


· EME West Africa, which proposes to install some 17 MW rooftop PV systems at high-end residential, commercial and industrial buildings in Senegal. The billing will be carried out by the utility, SENELEC, though a triangular agreement between SENELEC, the ESCO SPV and the beneficiary of the PV system.  The investment programme proposed would total about €3.2 million of debt and equity.


For investors, WAFCEF was a great opportunity to access a select group of clean energy projects with high profit potential, verified environmental and development benefits, which are ready for investment. A number of the showcased projects had preliminary discussions with investors as a result of their presentation at the Forum. It also provided a unique networking forum for West Africa’s clean energy entrepreneurs and policy makers.


CTI PFAN (www.pfan.net) is a multilateral, public-private partnership initiated by the Climate Technology Initiative (www.climatetech.net) in cooperation with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Expert Group on Technology Transfer. 


African Development Bank is a regional multilateral development bank, engaged in promoting the economic development and social progress of its regional member countries (RMCs), and contributing to poverty reduction.


ECREEE is a specialized agency of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which acts as an independent body, within the legal, administrative and financial framework of ECOWAS rules and regulations. The overall objective of ECREEE is to contribute to the sustainable economic, social and environmental development of West Africa by improving access to modern, reliable and affordable energy services, energy security and reduction of energy-related GHG emissions and climate change impacts on the energy system.


For more information please contact:


CTI Programme Secretariat
Contact Person
Mr. Tohru Hasegawa
hasegawa(AT)icett.or.jp (please replace “(AT)” with “@”)


ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE)

Contact Person: Mr. Nicola Bugatti

E-mail: nbugatti(AT)ecreee.org (please replace “(AT)” with “@”)


African Development Bank Group

Contact Person: Mr. João Duarte Cunha

E-mail: j.cunha(AT)afdb.org (please replace “(AT)” with “@”) 

Communication: Sonia Borrini – s.borrini(AT)afdb.org (please replace “(AT)” with “@”)

Contact Email: wafcef-2@cti-pfan.net


Regions: West Africa
Tags:  africaclean energy financingclean energy projectsfinancing forumWest Africa