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REA Launches Africa Minigrids Program in Nigeria to Boost Clean Energy Access

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The Government of Nigeria has launched the Africa Minigrids Program (AMP) to boost clean energy access across the country. The four-year electrification program is being implemented by Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA).

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The Africa Minigrids Program is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The program has been already implemented in 20 other African countries. It aims to provide access to clean energy by increasing the financial viability and promoting commercial investment in green mini-grids, with a focus on innovative business structures and cost-reduction levers.

The green mini-grid electrification program commenced implementation following its official launch at an inception workshop that was jointly hosted by the GEF, UNDP, and Nigerian Ministries of Power, Environment, and Agriculture, along with several stakeholders in the rural development sector.

Mohamed Yahya, UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, said during the launch of the AMP national project in Nigeria that access to reliable, sustainable, and affordable energy can create socio-economic development, and helps to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). By scaling up renewable energy mini-grids, it is easier to close the energy access gap in Nigeria and across the region.

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Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, the Managing Director/CEO of REA, commended the collaborative spirit of the agency’s partners and stakeholders for enabling the activation of the AMP program. According to him, the initiative will serve as another catalyst for improved access to sustainable energy and inclusive impact on livelihoods by unlocking agricultural value-addition opportunities from clean electricity.

Sanusi Ohiare, the Executive Director at the Rural Electrification Fund (REF), highlighted that the AMP will deploy green mini-grids to achieve rural electrification and agricultural value chains, establishing appropriate business models and amplifying the knowledge gained to catalyze private sector investment.

The AMP in Nigeria is designed as an enabler project of the Energising Agriculture Program (EAP), an REA initiative that aims to increase economic opportunities through agriculture and productive sectors in rural communities across the country. It will contribute to various SDGs including access to affordable & clean electricity, climate action, and gender equality. The program will also provide access to electricity for more than 70,000 people, including nearly 35,000 women.

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The lifetime global environmental benefit of the green electrification program is estimated to enable the reduction of 74.2 kt of CO2 emissions. As part of the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference (COP27), the AMP partners will co-host the event entitled “Africa’s Just Energy Transition: Scaling Up Renewable Energy Minigrids for People and Planet”.

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