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Multi-Country — Joint Rural Electrification Workshops with UNEP and UNDP

Key Objectives:

To help develop a cost-effective and streamlined process to facilitate public-private partnerships between selected developing countries’ rural electrification practitioners and partners, and to determine the role of each entity to be involved in such partnerships.

Location:
Cameroon, Kenya, Thailand
Status:
Completed in 2007

Rural electrification has a great potential for poverty alleviation and economic development, yet poses unique challenges to project developers due to the remote location of projects in developing countries.

The main objective of this workshop was to help develop a cost-effective and streamlined process to facilitate public-private partnerships between selected developing countries’ rural electrification practitioners and partners, and determine the role of each entity to be involved in such partnerships.

Building on two successful events held in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2005 and Nairobi, Kenya, in 2006, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) also delivered a third rural electrification workshop in Yaoundé, Cameroon, in April 2007 (in French only).

The three workshops each attracted more than 40 experts from rural electrification national agencies, national energy institutions, local and foreign private utilities, cooperatives and NGOs, and development financial institutions, from 20 different countries. All participants were involved in activities dedicated to increasing energy access for rural populations, for whom access to modern forms of energy (including electricity) is key to true sustainable development.

The objectives of the rural electrification workshops included:

  • Identifying the main challenges of rural electrification, based on a review of project experiences covering all stages of the project development cycle;
  • Reviewing best practices and determining effective approaches by which to address the challenges of rural electrification in the local context;
  • Specifying the roles that GSEP members and other stakeholders can play in ensuring that rural electrification projects are consistent with sustainability principles;
  • Improving the ability of rural electrification project developers to develop project proposals that are eligible for funding and/or technical support; and
  • Improving the ability of rural electrification program stakeholders (energy ministries, rural agencies, etc.) to create the best institutional framework to support these programs.
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