Engaging stakeholders at the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo

GOGLA and The World Bank Group’s Lighting Global programme hosted the 2020 edition of the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo on the 18th to the 20th February 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo is the premier meeting of the off-grid solar sector providing a unique platform for knowledge exchange, networking and showcasing off-grid solar products and services. This year’s event set out to accelerate the development of the global off-grid solar market contributing to achieving universal energy access by 2030.

This event provided a great networking platform, an avenue for dissemination of ACE TAF knowledge products and a fantastic channel to promote the programme and its activities to a global renewable energy audience. ACE TAF was represented by 12 participants. 6 Country managers (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia) 6 Team members (Programme Director, Programme Manager, Team Leader, Deputy Team Leader, Communications Manager & Knowledge Manager)\

Overall, the event was attended by approximately 1,400 off-grid solar professionals and stakeholders from 75 countries. The participants were drawn from the private sector, government and other donor agencies. Some of our key partners in attendance were:
• The Ministry of Energy in Kenya
• IFC Lighting Global/Africa
• CLASP (which rebranded as VeraSol during the Forum)
• USAID Power Africa

The team took turns engaging with different stakeholders on Day one. Pauline Githugu the ACE TAF Team Leader led from the front as she welcomed the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Hon. Charles Keter, Permanent Secretary Eng. Joseph Njoroge and other government representatives to the ACE TAF booth. She took this opportunity to hand both of them the E-Waste Policy Handbook.

Pauline Githugu, ACE TAF Team Leader welcomes Hon. Charles Keter, Cabinet Secretary for Energy in Kenya to the ACE TAF stand at the expo hall.

The second day focused on several sessions. Our team participated in several sessions including; the future of the solar lantern market, a plenary session on the right electrification mix, consumer protection, and pathways to growth for the last mile. Throughout these sessions the TL, DTL and the Country Managers set aside some time to meet with key stakeholders and discuss possible partnerships that could improve our work in the 14 ACE countries.
On the final day ACE TAF led in two sessions which were side events to the main Forum. In conjunction with our partner Open Capital Advisors, ACE TAF held a side event on Demand Side Subsidies to consider the elements to be included in the design of a demand side subsidy. The session attracted a good mix of policy makers from Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kenya, and industry players. The focus was cast on addressing affordability from a consumer perspective.

The final day saw further engagements by the Country Managers and the ACE Leadership culminating in their attendance at GOGLA’s Community of Champions held in the afternoon. The CoC started with a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities in global off-grid solar markets. This was followed by a reflection on the just concluded GOGSFE and key takeaways for the government and policy makers present.

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