The decade of the mini-grid: Accelerating innovation to address the energy trilemma in Sub-Saharan Africa

January 2021


Tuesday 30 and Wednesday 31 March 2021

13:00 to 16:30 BST | 13:00 to 16:30 WAT | 14:00 to 17:30 South Africa | 15:00 to 18:30 EAT | 17:30 to 21:00 IST | 07:00 to 10:30 EST

600 million people in Africa do not have any access to electricity. In order to achieve universal electrification, we must address the energy trilemma. Central to innovations that seek to end energy poverty in sub-Saharan Africa is that of mini-grid developments.

On behalf of the Africa Mini-grids Developers Association (AMDA) and Energy Catalyst, we invite the energy access industry to AMDA’s first global virtual conference dedicated to accelerating innovation to end energy poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa.

With many people in the region without access to reliable energy services, traditional, centralised grid-based approaches are not feasible or affordable for the majority of unserved poor households.

Minigrid development is crucial to alleviating the energy trilemma in Sub-Saharan Africa as they offer a cost-effective solution for rural and off-grid communities and businesses through the provision of low-cost, reliable and clean power.

About the event

This conference aims to raise awareness and facilitate knowledge exchange on technology and product trends, investment, energy demand and state of the market relating to mini-grid developments between innovators, co-funding partners and programmes.

The two-day agenda will deliver a high-level plenary of powerful keynotes and international expert panel discussions on specific topics including:

  • Technology and products: Addressing the latest technology developments on the market and innovation needs for microgrid optimization
  • The finance landscape: The investment opportunities in the mini-grid market, what investors are looking for and who is offering it to them in 2021
  • Energy demand: The importance of going beyond the electricity and integrating the use of energy with productivity and cold chains as a strategy for sustainable growth of the energy demand of mini-grids
  • Future of the market: Looking ahead and recommendations on regulation and policy that can boost the mini-grid sector and allow it to scale

Who should attend?

The event will bring together a range of policymakers, investors, programme managers, energy innovators and entrepreneurs, and wider stakeholders who share a strategic interest in innovations to address the energy trilemma.

International attendees are encouraged to register and join us live on the virtual platform for part of the event which coordinates with their time zone. A recording will be available for any sessions that were missed due to time differences.

About Africa Mini-grid Developers Association (AMDA)

AMDA is an industrial association created by private sector mini-grid developers and operators, donors and investors interested in improving political economic environments for mini-grid companies. This includes working to improve policies, regulations and investment. Today, AMDA represents over 34 companies who are operating mini-grids across 15 countries.   

About the Energy Catalyst

Energy Catalyst is designed to accelerate the innovation needed to end energy poverty. Through financial and business advisory support, and by building strategic partnerships and uncovering new insights, Energy Catalyst supports the development of technologies and business models that can improve lives in Africa and Asia