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MALI: a CEI grant for electrification via solar mini-grids

TagsFinance and Investment, Regulatory and Governance, Rural Electrification

The Foundation for Clean Energy and Energy Inclusion in Africa (CEI Africa) has awarded a grant of 1.8 million dollars to WeLight. The aim is to electrify several rural communities in Mali using solar mini-grids.

After the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a few weeks ago, it’s Mali’s turn to benefit from funding from the Foundation for Clean Energy and Energy Inclusion in Africa (CEI Africa). The institution, based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, has announced its intention to award a results-based grant (RBF) worth $1.8 million to electricity access provider WeLight.

The funds will support its electrification activities in rural areas of Mali, where WeLight has been operating since 2021. According to CEI estimates, the grant will enable the expansion of the five solar mini-grids currently operated by the company. At least nine new green mini-grids will be built, enough to electrify 35,000 people.

The five mini-grids installed in recent years have provided 1,000 connections in Malian villages. The IEC’s support is “an important step, as it will enable us to reach nine more villages. Access to electricity for productive use is vital, as it enables socio-economic development in various areas for the community”, explains Moez Zouaoui, WeLight Mali’s national coordinator.

However, “the award of the results-based grant is subject to the fulfilment of certain pre-conditions agreed between CEI Africa and WeLight, which include, among other things, the execution of a grant agreement”, says the foundation launched by Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the German development agency. The grant will be disbursed on completion of the new electricity connections. According to the Direction nationale de l’énergie (DNE), Mali, which is benefiting from this funding, will have 53% access to electricity by 2021.