- Stichting Clean Energy and Energy Inclusion for Africa (CEI Africa) announces its intention to award a results-based financing (RBF) grant for a total of up to USD 1,886,700 to WeLight, a green mini-grid (GMG) developer, for the densification and construction of mini-grids in rural communities in Mali.
WeLight was awarded the RBF grant to support the densification of five mini-grids and the construction of nine mini-grids to connect rural communities in Mali, resulting in nearly 35,000 individuals gaining access to productive and renewable electricity.
The project marks a significant milestone in WeLight’s expansion and ongoing efforts to electrify Mali. Having achieved initial successes in the rural areas of Madagascar, WeLight is positioned to amplify energy access in Mali with the ambitious aim of electrifying 50 to 70 villages within the next two years. The country faces considerable electrification challenges, especially in remote rural areas off the main grid. Concurrently, Mali has tremendous untapped solar energy potential.
WeLight launched its activities in Mali in 2021 with the installation of five solar mini-grids resulting in 1,000 connections. This new phase is a testament to the positive results of the operator’s initial efforts. In the RBF-supported project, WeLight anticipates the creation of over 3,500 new connections. Once electricity is provided, WeLight fosters services tailored to the unique needs of residents and the village, emphasizing rural entrepreneurial development. These services span powering schools and public services, refrigeration, productive agricultural services, small-scale industries, eateries, and other utilities.
CEI Africa has allocated EUR 21M to support project developers to finance GMGs through RBF, including the provision of technical assistance. Renewvia, Kudura, and PowerHive were selected in CEI Africa’s first call for site-specific applications. WeLight’s project supports CEI Africa’s goal of improving energy access for households in rural sub-Saharan Africa, and in this case in a country where more than 53.4 percent of the population still lacks energy access.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal