STRENGTHENING THE MARKETPLACE
In most African markets, the enabling environment is not conducive to the growth of the off-grid energy sector. Legal and regulatory frameworks are geared towards traditional energy infrastructure, which can create considerable barriers for off-grid firms. The lack of digital payments and financial services infrastructure in many markets can also constrain to the pay-as-you go business models of household solar firms. In addition, as off-grid enterprises grow, they often struggle in attracting, developing, and retaining the human capital they need.
While a number of these challenges are universal across African markets, country-specific conditions can also constrain market growth. With increased policy and political attention on increasing energy access, we have an opportunity to build on this momentum to mobilize stakeholders to address key constraints around off-grid solutions. One key effort has been U.K. Department for International Development’s Energy Africa campaign, under which a number of countries have signed compacts to advance public sector reforms that enable off-grid market development. We see an opportunity to build on this platform and engage a full set of stakeholders at the country level, including government, enterprises, investors, and industry associations, to identify and address key market barriers.
Scaling Off-Grid Energy will address country-level market barriers and failures by convening the relevant stakeholders, gathering their views on market limitations, and identifying potential solutions.