The World Bank, EUEI PDF and several other players are supporting the Africa Electrification Initiative (AEI) to create and sustain a living body of practical knowledge and a network of practitioners in the area of design and implementation of rural, peri-urban and urban on-grid and off-grid electrification programs in Africa. The principal target audience of the AEI are Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) practitioners who work for electrification agencies and funds, government ministries, regulators and state, community or privately owned utilities. Productive use of energy was identified as one of the areas of future interest. Against this background, EUEI PDF in cooperation with the AEI initiated a practitioners’ workshop around the topic of productive use of energy, which took place in Nairobi from 20-22 September 2011. 22 practitioners from 15 Sub-Saharan countries exchanged their views and experiences on chances and challenges of the promotion of productive use of energy.
The 3-day workshop was especially designed to bring experts from rural electrification agencies (REAs), energy ministries and development cooperation organizations together to exchange valuable experience and lessons-learnt. Topics such as technical challenges faced by productive electricity users, capacity building needs for decentralized utilities, accessibility to finance for micro and small enterprises, monitoring and evaluation concepts were shared and discussed within the group. Moreover, the ‘Productive Use of Energy – A Manual for Electrification Practitioners’, a joint development of GIZ/EUEI PDF, was introduced. The group showed high interest to keep this particular network.