The African Sustainable Energy Fund (SEFA), hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), has approved a $975,000 grant for Togo to start project CIZO, devoted to rural off-grid electrification by domestic solar kits in PAYGO mode.
The first phase of the rural electrification programme, CIZO, which means “enlightening” in mina, one of the main languages of Togo, aims to create conducive conditions to attract the private sector. This includes the decentralised energy service operators.
The project is expected to enable the deployment of 300,000 individual solar units over a 5-years period in the PAYGO mode, in remote rural areas using mobile payment technologies.
Director of the AfDB’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Department, Ousseynou Nakoulima, said: “We are pleased to support the government of Togo’s rural electrification programme, CIZO, aimed at providing an adequate solution to remote and sparsely populated localities. Funding provided by the SEFA fund will enable capacity building and the implementation of service infrastructure required for the deployment of large-scale solar kits.”
Nakoulima added: “This is to prepare the market for the private sector.”
Togo’s Rural Electrification Programme
The CIZO project is based on two key pillars: the implementation of a national IT platform to aggregate the instant payment functionality (DESCO, MNO); the collection of data on the energy needs of the population; Under the CIZO programme, SEFA’s intervention will make it possible to set up a national network of mobile payment agents (recruitment and training) to enable PAYGO operations by making electronic money available in the most remote rural communities and create a solar academy in each region.
Its mission will be the training and certification of local technicians.
Beyond the ambition of raising the rural electrification rate from 6 to 35%, the initiative aims to encourage the mass adoption of mobile payment solutions in rural areas to facilitate the inclusion rural populations.
The project is in line with the Togolese government’s policy and sectoral strategies, notably the Community Development Emergency Program (2016-2018) and the SCAPE 2013-2017 development strategy aimed at improving the rate Electrification of the country through a greater role for renewable energies.