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World Bank and partners search for off-grid lighting solutions for sub-Saharan Africa: innovative solutions welcome now

Posted by gmarkets on 28 September, 2007

The World Bank Group and partners launched the Lighting Africa Development Marketplace Grant Competition on September 5, reported the September 2007 issue of DM Newsletter. Lighting for sub-Saharan Africa: The competition sought innovative projects that addressed the off-grid lighting needs of Sub-Saharan Africa. Ten to 20 winners would receive grant funding of up to $200,000 each for ideas on alternative distribution models, new clean lighting technology, stronger production chains and improvement of the policy environment, among others.

Lighting a major expense among poor: “Among the poor, lighting is often the most expensive of all energy uses,” said Hans-Martin Boehmer, manager of the unit implementing the Development Marketplace (DM) program. “The DM will catalyze the development of products and business models to serve the African customer base.” Proposed projects must be for countries in sub-Saharan Africa, but the competition was open to private businesses, civil society groups, universities, government entities and individuals from around the world. Former global DM winners were eligible as long as their proposed idea was significantly different from the one the program already funded.

Applications open now, close October 31 2007: All proposals would be screened by technical experts against a pre-determined set of criteria, including innovation, impact and sustainability. Roughly 50 finalists would be identified by January and 10 to 20 winners would be selected at a Marketplace event in Ghana, in April 2008. Sponsors included the World Bank Group, the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program, the Global Environment Facility, the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility, the European Commission, Good Energies Inc., the governments of the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership. Interested parties were encouraged to apply now. All proposals must be submitted by 2300 GMT on October 31, 2007. Visit http://www.lightingafrica.org for more information.

Reference: DM Newsletter – September 2007

Erisk Net, 23/9/2007

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