Expanding Energy Access in Africa

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With the assistance of the Climate & Development Knowledge Network, Helio implemented a two-year program to address Energy, Ecodevelopment and Resilience in Africa (EERA) in 2013. Ending next month, EERA aimed to create a Smart Energy Path (SEP) in Togo, Mali, and Benin to increase capacity and develop economically beneficial energy projects. Currently only 9% of rural and peri-urban health centers in Togo have energy services. In a survey, Togolese said that providing electricity to these centers was their highest energy priority.

Lessons from EERA suggested that projects focus on energy services and smart technologies. Smart technologies can include diverse, renewable energy sources and climate resilient projects. Helio stressed that these technologies should be economically accessible across the region. Further, developing energy systems in these countries must be driven by sustainable development, prioritized, and respect climate vulnerability.