EEP Africa shares experiences on gender and energy in Ethiopia

EEP Africa was a guest speaker at a course on Power Production Planning and Energy Trading  that was organized by Nordic Energy Research in Addis Ababa on 22-23 October 2018. EEP’s gender specialist, Ms. Lotta Wilkman, presented insights and experiences on gender and energy in Africa with the audience of Ethiopian project developers and other players in the renewable energy sector.

The course was part of a joint initiative launched in 2017 by the five Nordic Prime Ministers that seeks to bring Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges. This initiative aims to drive progress towards the UN 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Nordic countries support the Ethiopian energy sector through a number of bilateral and multilateral programmes. More than 90% of Ethiopia’s installed electricity generation capacity comes from hydropower, so there has been a strong emphasis on transferring Norwegian know-how on hydro projects. However, with a growing and mostly rural population of more than 100 million people, the need and market potential for solar-home-systems and other off-grid solutions is substantial.

Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges

The Nordic Prime Ministers’ Initiative involves six flagship projects presenting Nordic knowledge in gender equality, sustainable food systems, smart welfare solutions, sustainable cities, regional energy co-operation and climate solutions. The Nordic Energy Solutions project targets East Africa and addresses the goal of “Sustainable Energy for All” (SDG7). It aims to increase renewable energy, facilitate international collaboration, and promote investment by utilising Nordic expertise in wind, hydro and geothermal projects.

Nordic countries have a long history of cross-border energy cooperation, with a mixed portfolio of renewable energy companies and technologies. The robust regulatory frameworks and transparent energy markets in the Nordic region could serve as a benchmark for the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP). The EAPP initiative covers seven East African countries (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Sudan) with an objective to optimize the development of energy resources in the region and to enhance electricity access to all people through regional power interconnections.

EEP Gender Experiences Applied to Ethiopia

Gender equality is a priority of the Prime Ministers’ Initiative and a cross-cutting issue in the development initiatives of all Nordic countries. Ms. Wilkman presented key findings from the EEP in-depth study on gender, Understanding the Role of Women and Girls in Renewable and Energy-Efficiency Projects, and highlighted specific gender-related benefits and challenges in hydropower and other larger utility scale projects. Considering the needs of women, usually representing half of the population affected by the project, is an important question of risk and expectations management. Applying gender-responsive approaches to construction projects and guaranteeing equal access to economic opportunities can enhance the success of these projects. There are some differences between Ethiopia and the 15 countries covered by EEP, in terms of the mix of energy sources and level of women’s participation. However, many of the core challenges linked to rural energy poverty and gender inequality are similar throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and lessons from the EEP study can be shared across the region.

The course participants indicated a commitment to promoting gender equality in the Ethiopian energy sector. Discussions focused on acknowledging current barriers, considering the specific needs of women in decision making positions in energy projects, and identifying ways to attract more women to apply for jobs and develop careers in this male-dominated field. The Ethiopian participants appreciated learning from the best practices of EEP-supported projects and gaining a better understanding of the development benefits and business case of engaging in gender equality.

Nordic Business Opportunities in Ethiopia

EEP Africa also participated in a seminar on Nordic Solutions for Business Development in Ethiopia on 24 October. This event, which was organized jointly by the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Embassy of Sweden in Addis Ababa, attracted a large number of Nordic and local companies. The seminar presented Nordic expertise and solutions in the context of the Ethiopian energy sector and highlighted the inspiration that the common Nordic energy markets could provide in the region. In addition to energy, the seminar looked at wider opportunities and challenges that the Ethiopian business landscape offers for Nordic companies and financing instruments.

Ethiopian project developers in both events indicated wide interest towards EEP and expressed wish to expand EEP operations to Ethiopia. Currently, the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), which hosts and manages EEP Africa, supports innovative climate change projects in Ethiopia through its Nordic Climate Facility.

Renewable Energy for Sustainable Growth – Rwanda Energy Week

Under the patronage of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Energy Private Developers (EPD) in partnership with the Global Alliance for Clean Cooking, Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP), the World Bank, the European Union, EEP Africa, Solar Plaza, GOGLA, Shell Foundation, bfz and many others organize the 2nd Edition of the RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTH which falls under Rwanda Energy Week, on 5th -9th November 2018.

The Rwanda Energy Energy Week will host four energy forums:

  1. The Clean Cooking Investment Forum, on 5th-6th November 2018 at Kigali Convention Center. The Forum is organized by Energy Private Developers (EPD) and Global Alliance for Clean Cooking, the forum is a first-of-its-kind, private sector-oriented conference to convene business leaders, investors, donors and government representatives to collaborate on developing an industry at scale to deliver modern, clean cooking solutions around the world, with a special focus on East Africa. For more about the forum and participation, please visit: 
  2. Unlocking Solar Capital Africa Forum, its 3rd edition will take place on 7th-8th November 2018 at Kigali Convention Center. The conference is organized by SolarPlazza in partnership with GOGLA and it is payable event. The conference will bring together hundreds of representatives from development banks, investment funds, solar developers, IPPs, EPCs & other stakeholders. 350+ decision makers will gather to engage in extensive discussions to solve Africa’s solar energy funding gap – and get projects realized. For more about the conference and participation, please visit: 

  3. Re-energizing Agriculture through Solar Power forum will take place on 8th November 2018 at Kigali Convention Centre. This forum will gather policy makers and private sector in energy and agriculture to discuss the role and experience of solar energy, mainly:
  • Opportunities and challenges of solar for agriculture in Rwanda
  • Solar irrigation,
  • Solar solutions for agribusinesses (drying, cold storage, processing….)
  • Financing solar solutions for agriculture (credit, leasing, microfinance).

The participation to this forum is free of charge for all invitees. 

EEP Knowledge Exchange Forum will take place on 9th November.

Welcome to EEP Knowledge Exchange Forum in Kigali, Rwanda

In collaboration with Energy Private Developers (EPD) of Rwanda and as part of the Rwanda Sustainable Energy Week, EEP Africa will host its 7th Knowledge Exchange Forum (KEF) on Friday November 9, at Kigali Convention Center, Rwanda.

See the agenda here >>



The EEP Knowledge Exchange Forum, organised since 2014, is an active event of discussions, sharing of experiences and a place to network with players in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector. Feedback from previous KEFs has enabled us to develop a highly relevant event specifically tailored for the needs of project developers. Based on its core idea of networking, the KEF offers ample opportunity to learn and build new business relationships.


Following the recent release of the EEP in-depth study on mini-grids, KEF Kigali will have a focus on mini-grids but there will be a lot on offer for other sectors as well.

The day will be built around a combination of interesting presentations and casual networking. Highlights of the event include:

  • A sharing of lessons learned by a successful solar PV project developer, who will offer key insights into project development in Rwanda.
  • A session with investors, who will share their perspectives on what they are looking for in renewable energy projects and companies.
  • Roundtable discussions during which participants can share their own successes and challenges.
  • Presentations by the shortlisted candidates for the EEP Project of the Year 2018. The winner will be announced at the end of the day.

The EEP Knowledge Exchange Forum audience is typically half project developers (EEP supported and others) and half other key stakeholders in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector in the region. Previous KEFs have attracted around 100 participants each.


To enable participation by a wide audience, the EEP Knowledge Exchange Forum is open for all and free of charge.  The venue and final agenda will be shared with the participants closer to the event.

Edit: Registration to EEP Knowledge Exchange Forum has been closed. 

We look forward to seeing you in Kigali!

Rwanda Sustainable Energy Week

See other clean energy events in Rwanda 5-9 November:


It’s time to select the EEP Project of the Year 2018!

EEP Project of the Year will be awarded for the 5th time at EEP Knowledge Exchange Forum on 9 November in Kigali, Rwanda. See the announcement below and apply for the award!




Mini-grids ready for primetime, lack support: report

A new EEP Africa study of dozens of projects says renewable energy mini-grids in Sub-Saharan Africa are generating high-quality grid power, providing 24/7 electricity services, creating jobs and boosting local economies

NAIROBI, September 12, 2018 — Today, the Energy and Environment Partnership Trust Fund (EEP Africa) released a new report, “Opportunities and Challenges in the Mini-Grid Sector in Africa.”  It found that despite improved economics, mini-grids still struggle to receive the financial and regulatory support needed to scale.

 According to an analysis of EEP Africa-funded mini-grids in East and Southern Africa:

  • mini-grids on average create 306 new connections per project
  • connection costs are as low as EUR 200, much less than centralized grid extension
  • mini-grids deliver annual savings per household of EUR 93
  • an average of 36 direct jobs are created per mini-grid project

 “The continuous improvement of mini-grid cost structure presents an opportunity for financiers,“ said Wim Jonker Klunne, EEP Africas Lead Coordinator. “Mini-grids can also transform rural villages into local business hubs, and spur local economies by focusing load on agro-processing or social facilities such as schools or hospitals.“

Smart metering, remote asset monitoring and pay-as-you-go technology platforms have significantly improved mini-grid operational efficiency, the report said.

Despite the enormous potential, however, the report found that mini-grids still lack the regulatory and financial support needed to scale.

EEP Africa called on governments to include mini-grids as part of national electrification plans, establish clear permitting and licensing processes to reduce costs for mini-grids developers, and embrace public and donor capital such as results-based financing (RBF) and low-interest loan facilities to mobilize capital and spur mini-grid development.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that mini-grids have the potential to serve as many as 450 million people currently without access to electricity if supportive policies and finance are in place. Mini-grids and other distributed renewable solutions are the least cost option for three-quarters of all new connections needed in Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 600 million people still lack basic electricity, IEA adds.

Download the Full Report here >>

About EEP

The Energy and Environment Partnership covering Southern and East Africa (EEP Africa) is a multi-donor fund providing early stage grant and catalytic financing to innovative clean energy projects, technologies and business models. EEP Africa is hosted and managed by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and, since 2010, has received funding from Austria, Finland, NDF and the UK. The next major EEP event is a mini-grid-themed Knowledge Exchange Forum planned for Rwanda Energy Week in Kigali on November 9.

 Media Contact

William Brent,, +34 684 314 268

EEP Mini-Grid Study launch event on 12 September in Nairobi

Challenges and Opportunities in the Mini-Grid Market – Findings from the EEP Africa Portfolio

EEP Africa, in close collaboration with Power for All, will launch an in-depth study on mini-grids based on findings from the portfolio of pioneering mini-grid projects receiving support as part of the EEP Africa mandate to provide early stage grant and catalytic financing on competitive basis to innovative, private sector-led clean energy projects in Southern and East Africa.

EEP Africa has provided more than EUR 7 million in direct early stage and pilot financing to mini-grid projects in Southern and East Africa. The study highlights findings from these active projects and provides a key learning tool for the growing sector.

The context for mini-grid development varies between countries. The study identifies gaps in the policy and regulatory framework, highlights available support to the sector and specific successes from the EEP Africa portfolio, while at the same time cites persistent challenges to the growth of the sector including barriers to access to market data, lack of proven business models and insufficient coordination among key stakeholders in the power sector as well as with and amongst donors.

Launch of the study and an active panel discussion with key partners and project developers will take place during the Future Energy East Africa Conference in Nairobi on 12 September at 11:30-13:00. The event will take place in the Technical Workshop area on the exhibition floor and is accessible to all. See the updated list of panelists in the Technical Workshop Programme and register for a free visitor pass that gives you access to all of the technical workshops over the course of the two days, 12 to 13 September.

The report will be published on the EEP website after the launch. If you wish to receive a copy directly to your mailbox, please submit your contact details here.




EEP team spreading the word on CfP 14 in Nairobi and Lusaka events

EEP Africa hosted a Question and Answers session on the 14th Call for Proposals (CfP14) for over 30 people at the EEP regional hub office in Nairobi on Tuesday 12 June. The event was kicked off with the EEP CfP14 video and followed by an interactive questions and answers on the EEP Africa Innovation window. A lot of interesting questions were made by interested project developers and hopefully all questions were answered. You can check the FAQs of the call on the website for more information or reach out to the EEP team through

In Lusaka, EEP joined the two-day Zambia Off-Grid Investor Forum organized by Alliance for Rural Electrification and GOGLA, and supported by RECP. On Wednesday 12 June, EEP Head of Portfolio and Finance participated in a panel discussing financing for off-grid solutions and was able to share information about the open CfP14 to the conference audience consisting of local and regional project developers as well as investors and other sector players. EEP also shared experiences on off-grid projects in the region focusing on the importance of developing successful business models and on the current critical barriers of the sector.

The project developers participating in the forum were highly interested in the open CfP14. During the two days EEP held one-on-one discussions with countless project developers and answered questions on eligibility and application procedures. Many projects had already started their application process and wanted to ask details on the process going forward.

EEP wants to thank all project developers for their interest in both events. We are looking forward to receiving high quality applications from Kenya and Zambia. A big thank you to the organisers of Zambia Off-Gird Investor Forum who created a successful event that provided relevant information about the Zambian off-grid market that is developing rapidly at the moment.

The interest for CfP14 has been significant and the EEP team is doing its best to answer all questions.  We encourage all interested project developers to visit CfP14 page to learn more about the call for proposals and application procedures. Please read the application guidelines and other relevant documents carefully before you apply to make sure you qualify.Interested applicants have until June 28 at 13h Helsinki time to submit proposals.

Join our online webinar or Q&A sessions in Nairobi and Lusaka

Interested in taking part in EEP Africa’s Call for Proposals 14, but still having some questions? Join our team on Tuesday 5 June from 3 to 4 pm Helsinki time in a webinar to get your question answered! In this webinar we will discuss frequently asked questions on the call and provide the opportunity to participants to ask specific questions to the EEP team directly.

Register here for the webinar >>
Please feel free to send your questions, comments and feedback in advance to


Are you in Nairobi or Lusaka and want to meet our team face-to-face? Please joins us for a Q&A session on Tuesday 12 June from 10 to 11.30am in Nairobi (KPMG Office, 8th Floor, ABC towers, Wajyaki Way) or on Wednesday 13 June from 2 to 4 pm at the Zambia Off-Grid Investor Forum 2018 (Radisson Blu Hotel Lusaka).`

Register here for the Nairobi Q&A session >>

Register here for the Zambia Off-Grid Investor Forum to join our Lusaka Q&A session>>


The 14th EEP Africa Call for Proposals invites applications from early stage off-grid and on-grid clean energy projects in active development phase in Southern and East Africa. We are looking for projects with strong Concept Innovation, Development Impact and Business Model & Financial Sustainability. Find more information and guidelines here >>