NASENI, REA Partner on Powering Rural Nigeria
By Faridat Salifu
The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) have forged a partnership aimed at bringing sustainable electricity solutions to Nigeria’s rural areas.
This collaboration intends to leverage NASENI’s solar resources and other renewable energy technologies to bolster electricity supply in underserved regions.
During a recent visit by Mr. Khalil Halilu, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NASENI, to the REA office, both organizations reaffirmed their commitment to work together towards reducing the cost of solar power installation in rural areas. One of the key strategies to achieve this is by enhancing local production of solar panels by NASENI.
The overarching objective, as stated by Mr. Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, the Managing Director/CEO of REA, is to expedite the Federal Government’s ambitious electrification plans for Nigeria’s rural communities.
Mr. Halilu, who assumed his role as NASENI’s chief executive just two weeks ago, emphasized the importance of collaborating with stakeholders to fulfill NASENI’s mission of providing the necessary science and engineering infrastructure to support Nigeria’s businesses and economic growth.
“The strategy, going forward, for NASENI includes knocking on the doors of potential end-users of the Agency’s technology and engineering products, making off-take of our Research & Development (R&D) easy, while also bringing the direct impact of our work to bear on the Nigerian economy,” he stated.
In a separate meeting, Mr. Halilu engaged with Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the Director General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), to explore opportunities for sharing experiences and best practices in management and resource optimization. Abdullahi highlighted NITDA’s successful strategy of transforming its workforce to achieve 62% of its goals within two years, ahead of its four-year projection, and suggested a similar approach could benefit NASENI.
Germany and United States Inject $50 Million into Africa’s Sustainable Energy Fund
By Faridat Salifu
Germany and the United States have jointly committed $50 million to the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) during the recently concluded African Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.
Germany’s contribution amounts to €40 million pledged to SEFA, a specialized multi-donor fund managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB). Bärbel Kofler, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), emphasized the AfDB’s dedication to seizing opportunities in the energy transition and the expansion of renewable energy through its support of SEFA.
In tandem with Germany’s commitment, Washington has pledged $6.2 million as part of the Power Africa initiative, coordinated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). David Thompson, who leads this initiative launched by former US President Barack Obama in 2013, underscored the urgent need for “low-carbon, climate-resilient development through clean energy solutions” that can significantly impact the lives of people across Africa.
SEFA’s primary focus in Africa is on sustainable development through the promotion of renewable energy sources. The fund is actively contributing to the Desert to Power program, an AfDB initiative aimed at expediting the deployment of solar energy in the Sahel region. This initiative encompasses strengthening the transmission grid, implementing off-grid solutions, improving the business climate, and revitalizing national electricity companies.
The Desert to Power program spans 11 African countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan. The AfDB’s ambitious objective is to provide solar energy access to 250 million people residing in the Sahel region, ultimately establishing the Sahel as the world’s largest solar energy production zone, boasting an installed capacity of 10,000 MW.
In addition to the financial support from Germany and the United States of America, SEFA benefits from contributions by the United Kingdom, Norway, Italy, Spain, and Sweden, along with support from the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP).