The AfLP AMG-CoP Meeting 7 Gone Virtual

The AfLP AMG-CoP Meeting 7 Gone Virtual 7000 4669 aflp

The AfLP AMG-CoP Meeting 7 Gone Virtual

The AfLP AMG-CoP hosted its 7th meeting as a four-part virtual workshop series over three weeks in April and May. Strengthening the case for Mini-grids in Africa: Connecting the dots across rural electrification, climate resilience and sustainable development, originally planned for the sides of Africa Climate Week in Uganda, successfully brought together over 120 practitioners to carry on the AMG CoP’s peer-learning and exchange platform via virtual engagement.

The series kicked off on April 16 with a closed session for AMG-CoP members to catch up on the latest developments, review the AMG CoP general work programme for the year, and introduce the AMG CoP’s shift to the virtual space. The AfLP used this opportunity to discuss and consult with members on the current Covid-19 pandemic, its impact on the AfLP work programme for 2020, as well as the emerging regional and country needs. 

The second session—Making energy access through mini-grids affordable: The role of governments and international climate finance—was held back-to-back with the first session on April 1. This open session explored the current mini-grid climate finance landscape in Africa and how tapping into available climate finance can strengthen both rural electrification and climate action. We looked at the financing landscape assessment that has been developed by the LEDS GP Finance Working Group and heard from AMG CoP members Alexander Obiechina of ACOB Lighting, Alex Ochs of SD Strategies, and Alexia Kelly of Electric Capital, as well as climate fund representative Geoff Sinclair from CAMCO Clean Energy.

This session was also Alexia Kelly’s last engagement with the AMG CoP in her role as Finance Working Group lead.

The third session—Exploring the rural electrification – climate resilience – sustainable development nexus—took place on April 30. The session aimed to explore the role of mini-grids in the current climate plans of Sub-Saharan African governments and discuss how a stronger focus on mini-grid-based rural electrification can increase climate ambition while delivering multiple sustainable development co-benefits. The session also delved into the co-benefits of mini-grid-based rural electrification, we heard from NREL about the landscape assessment of mini-grids in NDCs, in addition to perspectives from the ground on the integration of electrification, sustainable development and climate action at project level.

The final session, held on May 7, was a closed session for AMG-CoP members to discuss key take-aways from the virtual workshop series and share experiences from their countries on how integrated rural electrification-climate-sustainable development planning can be put into practice. The concluded with a joint discussion on the next milestones for the AMG CoP, plans for continued virtual engagement, and a member survey of key topics of interest for their respective countries and regions.

This virtual workshop, organized in response to travel restrictions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, represented the AMG CoP’s largest yet virtual engagement. Going forward, the AMG CoP aims to launch a series of virtual “coffee break” sessions to provide a continued virtual platform for members to engage with one another and discuss the collective challenges, lessons, and opportunities they face as minigrid practitioners in Africa. As the global COVID-19 situation evolves, the AMG CoP will continue to move its work plans online as it aims to continue to provide the same trusted and member-driven resources for the community.

The recordings and presentations from the open sessions are available below: