Rockefeller Foundation President Holds Productive Meetings in Nigeria to Advance Ambitious 300 Million Project

rockefeller foundation president holds productive meetings in nigeria to advance ambitious 300 million project

Rockefeller Foundation President Holds Productive Meetings in Nigeria to Advance Ambitious 300 Million Project

In recognition ofxa0Nigeria’s potentialxa0in bridging energy access gaps and transitioning to clean energy systems which has positioned it as a key player in Africa and a crucial opportunity for the 300 million project,xa0President of The Rockefeller Foundation, Raj Shah,xa0recentlyxa0led a high-level delegation to the country.

Hosted by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL)’s CEO, Damilola Ogunbiyi, the visit focused onxa0expanding energy access and accelerating Nigeria’s transition to clean and affordable energyxa0as part of a broader initiative to drive universal access to sustainable energy across Africa.

To advance the 300 million project, two broad areas of work werexa0focusedxa0onxa0duringxa0this visit; the establishment of stronger partnerships and the showcasing of projects & innovations.xa0President Shah met with key government officials including representatives from the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), the Energy Transition Office,xa0whichxa0leadsxa0the implementation of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, as well asxa0Nigeria’s pioneer Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Action (SPEC), Ajuri Ngelale. Discussions revolved around learnings from Nigeria’s successful energy access programmes, which will inform the World Bank and African Development Bank’s “Mission 300” initiative aiming to bring electricity to 300 million Africans. Key takeaways from these discussions highlighted the need to attract more funding for developers, address regulatory hurdles hindering mini-grid growth, establish frameworks for productive use equipment, and prioritize domestic African developers in tendering systems for sustainable energy service delivery. Additionally, Shah met with the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun,xa0to discuss Nigeria’s leadership role within the African Caucus at the World Bank and explore partnerships to mobilise other African countries in closing the continent’s energy access gap.

A Development Partners’ Roundtable also brought together key stakeholders to discuss how to accelerate progress towards achieving sustainable energy access in Nigeria. The REA and the Nigeria Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-Up (DARES) programme presented their work, emphasizing the critical role of collaboration, innovative financing solutions, and improved data collection for informed project planning and decision-making.

A separate roundtable with the private sector investor community addressed the crucial issue of financing Nigeria’s energy transition. Discussions focused on identifying creative financing options to replace reliance on polluting generators, and covered risk allocation, currency matching, blended finance, supportive policies, and attracting pension fund investments.

Dwelling on the interactions, Raj Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation, said: “After two days in Nigeria, I am amazed by the potential of this country, to take its crisis and turn into a tremendous transformation of its economy which expands access to energy, changes lives, lifts up women and girls and shapes a new future not just for Nigeria but for the continent.

“Rockefeller is in this for the long haul and we are committed to working with partners in Nigeria and around the continent to make sure we reach 300 million people by 2030 with the kind of energy that will change their lives forever.”

The delegation visited an impressive interconnected mini-grid in Toto, Nasarawa State, which currently serves over 1,500 connections and and significantly reduces carbon emissions. The delegation also inspected a 3.3 MWp solar + storage project at the University of Abuja, part of the Energizing Education Programme (EEP), providing sustainable power to federal universities. Notably, 20 female STEM students received training on the University of Abuja project, highlighting a commitment to building a skilled and diverse workforce in the renewable energy sector.

Speaking about the impact of the visit, Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO, Sustainable Energy For All, added: “During the visit to Nigeria, SEforALL and its partners highlighted some of the amazing progress being made to close energy gaps in the country. However, more needs to be done in Nigeria and across Africa, and this is why I am excited to be collaborating with Rajiv Shah, the Rockefeller Foundation, and other partners to achieve the target of providing energy access to 300 million Africans by 2030. By working together, we can achieve this target and more.”

A dedicated roundtable co-convened by AllOn and Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) members provided a platform for Mr. Shah to gain a deeper understanding of the obstacles faced by mini-grid developers and their financiers. The meeting offered valuable insights from All On’sxa0Demand Aggregation Renewable Technology (DART) Programme and RMI’s Energizing Agriculture Programme (EAP) which will be instrumental in informing future strategies.xa0The visit concluded with a book reading and fireside chat featuring Mr. Shah, with thexa0event providingxa0a platform to discuss his experiences and the critical need for bold action and investment in climate resilience and energy access.

rockefeller foundation president holds productive meetings in nigeria to advance ambitious 300 million project
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