10 December in Madrid: Mobilising investment for off-grid energy solutions

High-level panel discussion on Tuesday 10 Dec 2019 at 11:30-13:00 hrs
Organised as part of the UNFCCC side events at COP25
Room 4, IFEMA – Feria de Madrid

Read more about the initiative

Mobilising investment for off-grid energy solutions in African countries

Just under 1 billion people worldwide still lack access to electricity, one of the main preconditions to prosperity growth. Despite increasingly ambitious efforts under the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development to achieve universal electrification by 2030, it is estimated that by that time nearly 600,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa alone will still not have access to electricity, and many more will still lack access to clean cooking. Many of these people live in rural and peri-urban areas that have not been reached by the central electricity grid, and where, due to the geography and/or widely dispersed populations, expansion of the grid would be too costly and technically difficult.

How to overcome the challenges in a climate-friendly and sustainable way?

A high-level panel with representatives of European and African governments, international finance institutions and non-profit organisations will discuss the main barriers to the development of markets for off-grid clean energy in African countries, and share the latest insights on solutions under development in their countries and by their institutions.

A central theme in the discussions will be the new Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA), which aims to kick-start clean energy markets to bring clean, off-grid energy access to millions of people in Burkina Faso, Liberia, Mozambique and Zambia. BGFA builds on the success of its pilot phase, the Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia, which helped nearly 800,000 people gain access to off-grid energy in 2.5 years and won an Ashden Award and a UN Global Climate Action Award in 2019. With an initial funding target of EUR 48 million, BGFA is an initiative of Sweden, the facility is managed by NEFCO and implementation coordinated by REEEP.


  • Hon. Mr. Ndashe Yumba, the Permanent Secretary  in the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Zambia
  • Dr. Nathaniel T. Blama, Executive Director, Environmental Protection Agency, Liberia
  • Mr Adam Öjdahl, Adviser, Power Africa at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
  • Maher Chebbo, Chair of the Governing Board, REEEP
  • Fenella Aouane, Principal Green Finance Specialist, Global Green Growth Institute

Moderator: Ash Sharma, Lead Adviser and Head of BGFA, NEFCO

When and where?

Time: 10 December at 11:30-13:00 hrs
Venue: UNFCCC side events at COP25, Room 4, IFEMA – Feria de Madrid


This UNFCCC side event is organised by NEFCO, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), and the International Center for Environmental Technology Transfer (ICETT).

Contributing to the sustainable development goals:

SDG7 Affordable and clean energy
SDG17: Partnership for the Goals