Green People’s Energy

Project description

Title: Green People’s Energy
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Benin, Côte D’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia, Namibia
Lead executing agency: Ministries of energy and rural energy agencies in the countries selected by BMZ; where appropriate, further executing agencies for individual measures
Overall term: 2018 to 2023

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600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to modern energy technologies and services. Above all, power supplies are unreliable. With the technologies available locally, energy production tends to be expensive, inefficient and hazardous to health.

Current energy requirements in Africa will continue to increase disproportionately as a result of high population growth, increased economic activities in what are often dynamic markets, and a higher standard of living. Africa’s energy demands are therefore set to increase by 80 per cent by 2030. Having established the vision of a shared future worth living with the internationally recognised global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international community therefore needs to take action here. The Agenda is addressing ecological, economic and social aspects of development together for the first time. With regard to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), all members of the United Nations undertake to implement 17 goals by 2030. Sustainable economic development and the SDG ‘Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all’ can only be achieved if sufficient energy is available. With a view to climate change, the Paris Climate Agreement and the SDG ‘Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts’, renewable energies need to form the basis for the future power supply in Africa. Above all, this entails significantly improving access to modern, renewable energy in rural regions.


The conditions for supplying regions in rural Africa with decentralised renewable energy have improved, assisted by the involvement of citizens and the private sector.

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In June 2017, German Development Minister Gerd Müller launched the Green People’s Energy initiative, which contributes towards implementing the Marshall Plan with Africa. At the same time, it supports the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda by contributing towards achieving the SDGs that target ‘Affordable and clean energy’ and ‘Climate action’. 

The project supports the development of decentralised renewable energy systems in rural regions of Africa with the involvement of local stakeholders and private investors. Particular emphasis is placed on the participation of municipalities, cooperatives and local companies. In addition, the project promotes local value creation and the productive use of energy and social institutions, and also creates employment opportunities. 

There are five components in the project’s implementation:

  • A small-scale project fund provides up to 200,000 euros to promote projects by local stakeholders in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The training offered in the area of decentralised renewable energy supply is being improved and expanded.
  • Decentralised renewable energy for productive use and social institutions is being made accessible.
  • The improved framework conditions and advisory services available are making it possible to scale up investments.
  • Information is being provided with regard to decentralised renewable energy and energy partnerships are being established.

Components 1 and 5 – ‘Small-scale project fund' and ‘Secretariat’ – are controlled centrally. Components 2, 3 and 4 – ‘Training’, ‘Productive use and social infrastructure’ and ‘Investments and framework conditions’ – are designed and implemented locally in the focus countries.

Moreover, two Special Representatives for Energy in Africa – Bärbel Höhn and Josef Göppel, both of whom are former German Bundestag members – are also supporting the initiative. They are playing a key role in implementing the Green People’s Energy initiative by working on a voluntary basis to help design and publicise the initiative, in the process contributing their political experience and access to networks in the implementation process. The two Special Representatives have traveled to eight out of nine focus countries as part of their work. They have presented the initiative at various events. This helps forge partnerships between various stakeholder groups and thus contributes to the core goals of the initiative.

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