Africa Minigrids Community of Practice Remote “Coffee Break” Discussions
Launch discussion: DATE: Wednesday 22 July, 2020 TIME: 15h00 (SAST)
(For AfLP AMG-COP Members Only)
This year the AMG CoP will be launching a series of remote, topical discussion groups. These informal “coffee break” style discussions are intended to keep the AMG CoP community connected as COVID-19 concerns keep us working from home and continue to limit our ability to connect through in-person meetings. The purpose of these discussion groups is to provide an open and informal forum for members to explore and discuss a variety of key issues of interest to AMG CoP members. Think of these sessions as a virtual replacement for the various breakout discussions, group coffee breaks, etc. that are usually part of our in-person workshops and provide opportunity for more casual, in-depth small group discussion.
3-4 topical groups will be established as interest dictates. Some initial topics are suggested below. Once groups are formed, members will be encouraged to determine how best to run each group (e.g. when and how often to meet, what platform to use, how narrow or broad a topic to discuss, etc.). A member of the AMG CoP secretariat team will join each meeting as well to support and help facilitate discussions. These groups will ideally meet 2-4 times each month between now and September.
As these groups meet, we encourage each group to consider some sort of output or product the group would like to create together based on their conversation. For example, perhaps the group might co-write a short blog post based on their discussion that would be published on the LEDS GP website. We will also come together for another virtual meeting later in the year during which each group will be able to share the highlights and lessons from their group discussion with the rest of the AMG CoP membership and to hear about other groups’ discussions.
At the end of the day, we encourage members to take these groups and make them their own. While we may not be able to travel to meet in person this year, we want to make sure we keep our strong AMG CoP community. We hope this groups will provide a casual, fun way for us all to continue to explore the latest minigrid relate issues that are of interest to all of us!
Long-term planning and economic recovery
As countries recover from COVID-19, there will be a need for dedicated investment and government action to revitalize hard-hit economies. Reductions in the labor force and tourism due to restrictions on movement and economic losses, as well as disruptions in global supply chains will likely lead to declines in production and private-sector investment, and a multitude of negative impacts for individuals, businesses and economies.
This recover also present an opportunity. Investment in minigrids and sustainable technology can help put individuals back to work, revitalize local and national economies, enable resilience, and help meet energy access goals. As part of this, many countries and jurisdictions may be thinking about visions and action plans to drive forward economic recovery through clean energy investments, business support, and workforce development.
How can countries think about recovery and future resilience in a more holistic way? What is the role of electrification and indeed the entire energy sector within the context of economic recovery? How can we encourage and develop more resilient, low emission plans that reflect ambitious national goals and priorities for economic recovery that maximize positive social, economic and environmental impacts as countries emerge from the COVID-19 crisis?
Integrating MGs with climate and SDGs?
Access to affordable energy is recognized as essential for humanity to develop and thrive, but the adoption of new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 marked a new level of political recognition of the importance of energy to development. The SDGs include a target to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all and is crucial to the achievement of many of the other SDGs.
Access goes beyond simply connecting households if it is to lead to economic and social development. Electricity needs to also cater to income-generating activities and public services.
Given the challenge facing most countries when it comes to extending the grid it is crucial to look at alternative means of achieving universal access. The integration of off-grid energy solutions is increasingly important to maintaining the momentum towards achieving SDGs.
How can MGs be more effectively deployed as a clean solution to energy access? What are the barriers – technical, financial, or regulatory – that need to be overcome in order to MGs to be fully integrated into the discussion around achieving both SDGs and Climate goals?
Fundraising and outreach strategies for the AMG CoP
The AMG CoP aims to be a vibrant, member-driven and member-owned community. The AMG CoP Secretariat team still relies on support from the international donor community to manage the day-to-day business of CoP, support member engagement and deliver high-quality, targeted technical content. In order to grow both its depth and reach, additional fundraising will be necessary.
This aim of this discussion group will be to focus on how we as a community can effectively continue to grow and flourish. For its first three years the AMG CoP Secretariat has pursued outreach and fundraising mostly in the background. This year, through this group, we would like to bring those members who are interested directly into the conversation to brainstorm and together craft a comprehensive fundraising strategy and messaging. How can the AMG CoP be more effective about outreach to potential donors? Are there particular partners we could or should be targeting? How can we best engage CoP members to help message and drive partner outreach?
Inter-connected MGs for peri-urban areas
To be further discussed and clarified
Please send us an email to Africasecretariat@ledsgp.org with any queries about joining the AfLP or the AMG-CoP