Johannesburg, September 5, 2007
- The World Bank Group today launches an initiative to provide modern lighting
to the 250 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa who have no access to electricity.
Jointly managed by the World Bank and IFC, Lighting Africa aims
to develop market conditions for the supply and distribution of new, nonfossil
fuel lighting products, such
as fluorescent light bulbs and light emitting diodes, in rural
and urban areas of the region that are not connected to the electricity
The “energy poor” in Africa spend about $17 billion a year on fuel-based
lighting sources, such as kerosene lamps, that are costly, inefficient,
and provide poor quality light while polluting and posing fire hazards.
For these consumers,
lighting is often the most expensive item among their energy uses, typically
accounting for 10 to 15 percent of total household income. Hence
there is a potentially huge market for modern lighting products that are
safe and reliable, that provide higher-quality light, and that are cost-competitive
with fuel-based lamps, and powered by renewable energy or mechanical sources.
Lighting Africa, which is supported by a number of donors, including
seed money from the Global Environment Facility, seeks to attract the international
lighting industry, as well as local suppliers and service providers, to
Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, said, "In partnership
with the private sector, IFC will help develop sustainable business models
to supply good quality lighting to the poorest of the poor in Africa. Our
goal is to give families and small business owners clean, modern, and affordable
alternatives to fossil fuel lamps."
S. Vijay Iyer, World Bank Energy Sector Manager for Africa, said, "Modern
lighting will mean improved air quality and safety for millions of people
in Africa. It will mean longer reading hours for students and longer business
hours for small shops. Lighting Africa will directly contribute
to the Millennium Development Goals. It is a cornerstone of the World
Bank's Clean Energy and Development Investment Framework and the Africa
Energy Access Scale-up Plan."
More than 350 companies have already expressed interest in the initiative.
Gerard Kleisterlee, President and CEO of Philips, said in a recent speech,
“The rural lighting market, like many markets for low-income people in
developing countries, is not very well known or explored. It is essential
that governments and international organizations such as the World Bank,
NGOs, and various companies get together in a network to work out the appropriate
Vincent Loh, Chairman, Kenya Renewable Energy Association, said, "The
Development Marketplace competition provides a unique opportunity for local
African companies to participate in the development of lighting products
and services tailored to local market needs and conditions."
The first phase of Lighting Africa, which starts today, will have
- Launch a competition for the
design and delivery of innovative, low-cost, high-quality, nonfossil lighting
products that target low-income consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ten to
20 winners will receive grants up to $200,000.
- Initiate market research in Kenya,
Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia to better understand consumer demand, behavior
and preferences. The research will also look at local supply, marketing,
and distribution channels. Initial results of this research are expected
- Inaugurate a business-to-business
Web portal where manufacturers, distributors, and marketers from all
over the world can create partnerships, conduct business online, and access
the latest market information.
For more information, visit the Lighting Africa website at: http://www.lightingafrica.org.
A Competition for the Design and Delivery of Innovative Lighting Products
The Development Marketplace team of the World Bank Group launches today
a grant competition entitled “Innovations in Off-Grid Lighting Products
and Services for Africa.” The competition will reward project ideas that
address the various off-grid lighting needs of Sub-Saharan Africa, including
alternative distribution models, new clean lighting technology, stronger
production chains, and improvement of the policy environment.
Ten to 20 winners will receive grant funding up to $200,000.
The competition is open to a broad range of innovators around the world,
including private businesses, nongovernmental organizations, universities,
government entities, and individuals.
Lead sponsors include the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program,
the Global Environment Facility, and the Public-Private Infrastructure
Advisory Facility. Other supporters include Good Energies Inc., the governments
of Norway and Luxembourg, the European Commission, and the Renewable Energy
and Energy Efficiency Partnership.
The deadline for submitting proposals is 23:00 GMT on October 31, 2007.
For more information on how to apply, visit the Lighting Africa Web
site at: http://www.lightingafrica.org.
About the World Bank
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance
to developing countries around the world, with the mission of global poverty
reduction and the improvement of living standards. It is not a bank in
the common sense. It is made up of two unique development institutions
owned by 185 member countries — the International Bank for Reconstruction
and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).
Each institution plays a different but supportive role in this mission.
The IBRD focuses on middle income and creditworthy poor countries, while
IDA focuses on the poorest countries in the world. Together, they provide
low-interest loans, interest-free credit, and grants to developing countries
for education, health, infrastructure, communications, and many other purposes.
By doing so, the World Bank concentrates on building the climate
for investment, jobs and sustainable growth, so that economies will grow,
and investing in and empowering poor people to participate in development.
For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing
capital in the international financial markets, and providing advisory
services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people
have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY06,
IFC committed $8.3 billion, including loan participations, to 284 investments
in 66 developing countries. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.
About Development Marketplace
The World Bank’s Development Marketplace (DM) is a competitive grant program
that funds innovative, small-scale development projects. These projects
not only deliver results, but also have the potential to be expanded or
replicated elsewhere. Since its inception in 1998, DM has awarded over
US$50 million to roughly 1000 projects through global, regional and country-level
Marketplaces. For more information, please visit www.developmentmarketplace.org.