June 3, 2024

ECOWAS to Develop Off-grid Solar Across West African Region

ECOWAS has launched the second funding round of ROGEAP, offering grants of $10,000 to $250,000 for off-grid solar projects in 13 West African and sub-Saharan countries, with applications due by June 23.

Startups and Early-stage Businesses to be Prioritised

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has announced the second funding round of the Regional Off-Grid Electricity Access Project (ROGEAP), offering grants from $10,000 to $250,000 to support off-grid solar projects in 13 West African and sub-Saharan countries. Co-funded by the World Bank, Clean Technology Fund, and the Netherlands' Directorate General for International Cooperation, ROGEAP aims to expand sustainable electricity access in ECOWAS member states and four Sahelian nations.

The tender is open to startups, established small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and large companies in the off-grid solar sector, each through different grant categories.

Startups and early-stage businesses are eligible for matching grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000. Companies in their early or growth stages that offer off-grid solutions in remote areas can apply for market-entry grants between $50,000 and $150,000. Established businesses operating in challenging, economically non-viable markets can obtain performance-based grants from $150,000 to $250,000. Complete eligibility criteria can be found in the grant documentation.

Advancing Sustainable Energy Access: The ROGEAP Initiative

In an effort to enhance access to sustainable energy and foster regional development, the Regional Off-Grid Electricity Access Project (ROGEAP) is spearheading initiatives to build a robust market for off-grid solar products. With a focus on supporting stakeholders throughout the off-grid solar value chain, ROGEAP aims to promote the adoption of high-quality solar solutions while addressing environmental, social, and gender-related risks.

The Regional Off-Grid Electricity Access Project (ROGEAP) aims to expand access to standalone solar power services in the fifteen member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as well as Cameroon, Chad, Mauritania, and the Central African Republic. ROGEAP is funded by the World Bank, the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), and the Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Dutch government.

One of the key strategies employed by ROGEAP is the implementation of customized training programs tailored to meet the needs of various stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large solar companies, and financial institutions. These programs aim to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to thrive in the off-grid solar sector.

Additionally, ROGEAP provides grant windows ranging from $10,000 to $250,000 for eligible businesses looking to invest in certified off-grid and standalone solar systems. Through application support, milestone monitoring, and opportunities for business-to-business (B2B) networking, ROGEAP facilitates the growth and expansion of solar enterprises.

Eligible Countries and Conditions

In the latest funding round, thirteen out of the 19 project countries are eligible for financial aid and technical support, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

Interested parties can learn more about the application process and eligibility conditions by visiting the ROGEAP website. Upon registering via the Expression of Interest (EOI) application form, successful applicants will be invited to participate in training sessions and submit a full proposal, including proof of matching contributions. Businesses that meet the technical and equity requirements will receive grants to support their solar off-grid operations, driving progress towards sustainable energy access across the region.

ROGEAP's second funding round by ECOWAS bolsters sustainable energy access in West Africa, offering grants of $10,000 to $250,000 for off-grid solar projects, prioritizing environmental and social considerations. Through tailored training and support, ROGEAP accelerates regional development, inviting stakeholders to join in advancing off-grid solar solutions across the region.

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