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Today, Power for All attended the Nigerian Mini-Grids Conference in Abuja organized by the World Bank and the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency. The event began with sessions on scaling mini-grids and cross learning from countries with renewable energy programs—as well as a software demonstration by our partner HOMER Energy. 

Our team also participated in the Annual General Meeting for the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN)— a side event held in conjunction with the Mini-Grid Conference. REAN was incubated by Power for All and the Nigerian County Director, Ify Malo, sits on its Advisory Board. 

After the REAN meeting, Power For All held a stakeholders workshop with Nigerian decentralized renewable energy (DRE) distributors and developers—where it shared its year in review of the DRE sector with partners. The team also showcased planned activities and projects for 2018 and long term projections for the Nigerian DRE sector for 2018 and beyond. The workshop had over 30 participants in attendance—cutting across mini-grid developers, clean energy distributors, and entrepreneurs.

The campaign shared its success stories on market acceleration projects, advocacy campaigns targeted at women and faith-based groups, and highlighted key findings on a United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) sponsored project— focused on transitioning Nigeria from kerosene lighting to clean lighting. This discussion was of great interest to participants, who were particularly intrigued by the quality and depth of the data collected on the potential size of the clean lighting market in Nigeria, including Pico solar products and Mini Grid developments.

Considering the data deficiency in Nigeria, the UNEP project presents the most accurate data so far on kerosene lighting and the off-grid lighting market in the country. The importance of the data is not just to entrepreneurs in the off-grid lighting space, but to a broader range of entrepreneurs along the value chain, as well as policy makers—as it provides them a means of determining other market opportunities and development indicators.

Power for All also discussed our upcoming work on Scaling Off Grid Energy (SOGE)—a USAID funded project and in partnership with FHI 360, the  25x25 Campaign, Human Capital Campaign, and Utilities 2.0.

In this interactive session, participants asked if Power For All was applying lessons from other countries in helping to advance the Nigerian DRE markets. Nigerian Country Director, Ify Malo, spoke about the early internal cross learning between the Nigerian program and our campaigns in Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. Both sister campaigns were particularly helpful in the  formation of the industry association (REAN) in Nigeria, and also provided insight on engaging stakeholders across government and civil society. She added that the new Power For All campaign launched in India, provides the Nigerian campaign with much broader cross-learning opportunities due to the similarities between the two countries politically, economically, and culturally.

In response to the presentation, participants provided numerous suggestions for unlocking affordable capital from banks and other financial institutions for the DRE sector. There were also proposals around prioritization for product and system standardization for clean lighting and other renewable energy components—to ensure trust in the systems and sector as a whole. Noting, increased consumer and regulatory confidence will accelerate the adoption of DRE technologies in Nigeria.

Response to the workshop was overwhelmingly positive, and participants expressed their excitement about the future of the DRE sector in Nigeria.  Attendees suggested regular, future stakeholder meetings on specific issues including: financing, access to markets, business development opportunities and capacity building.