The Africa Clean Energy Technical Assistance Facility (ACE-TAF) launched its programme in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on 25-26 June, at the 3rd Round of the Africa Energy Market Place (AEMP). The AEMP is an African Development Bank’s energy sector platform involving country governments, private sector and development partners to review and fast-track priority transactions capable of transforming Africa’s power sector.
Cathy Bassa, the Deputy Head of Mission at the British High Commission in Abidjan, noted in her opening remarks, “The launch of ACE-TAF here at the AEMP signifies DFIDs continued support for investments in affordable solar energy in Africa. We are excited to be here to launch this programme with key energy sector partners from all over Africa.”
Staale Brinchmann, the Project Director at Coffey International Development (Coffey) drew attention to the work that Coffey has continued to do in development and in the off-grid sector. “ACE TAF is being implemented by Coffey International Development which is a Tetra Tech company with a long history of working Sub-Saharan Africa. In the off-grid sector Coffey, and Tetra Tech, have been involved in developing the sector from its early days.”
Pauline Githugu, the Team Leader for ACE-TAF described the programme as a Technical Assistance programme, which will focus on creating enabling environments which will catalyse markets for various players to effectively harness the potential of off-grid solutions especially solar home systems. “ACE-TAF will be focused on 14 countries across West, East and South Africa. It will also work closely with both Governments and private sector and collaborate closely with key stakeholders in the off-grid sector to make this a reality.”
Lauding the launch of the Facility, Dr. Daniel Schroth, Acting Director for Renewable Energy and Efficiency at the African Development Bank, reiterated the importance of decentralized energy solutions for meeting Africa’s energy access challenges. “The Africa Clean Energy Technical Assistance Facility’s upstream support to off-grid market development in African countries will ultimately lead to more investment opportunities”, said Daniel Schroth. “The Facility therefore nicely complements the work of the African Development Bank in the off-grid space, including the off-grid window of the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI)”.
The Programme will work in close partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF).
This year’s AEMP brought together about 300 stakeholders in the energy sector in Africa and globally. Following the launch, participants were invited to a one on one engagement with the ACE – TAF team where the different partners listened to a presentation about the programmes key priority areas and discussed possible areas for collaboration with the various ACE countries represented at the AEMP.