L R AS Published on Sunday 1 December 2019 - n° 300 - Categories:Africa
Financing African projects remains a struggle
As the African continent has significant solar resources, different parts of the economy (industry, commerce, public services) could benefit from this. However, financing renewable energy projects in Africa is not always an easy task. This was the conclusion of a recent symposium in Berlin.
There are many different forms of financing.
Large-scale projects must be based on national policy to ensure the sustainability of funding. Speakers called on African policymakers to act more quickly and allow investors to close their financial operations as quickly as possible. However, the creditworthiness of renewable energy buyers was at the centre of the speakers' concerns, including where the recipient is a public utility.
Recourse to participatory financing
Some medium-sized commercial projects (hospitals, universities, banks, ...) can use participatory financing. For example, one participant was on his 33rd project in Ghana, Kenya and Costa Rica. However, he stressed that operation and maintenance is a challenge in Africa.
Off-grid projects face particularly high bank interest rates. You have to finance the installation before you can charge users. Some microfinance companies can help set up mini-networks. These are gaining ground as a potentially viable business model for deploying access to renewable energy in Africa.
Using the Chinese?
Some speakers expressed concern that if Europeans do not finance electrification in Africa with renewables, it will be the Chinese who will install coal-fired power plants to generate electricity.
PV Magazine of 25 November
Editor's note Since Europeans have been helping Africans for so long, nothing has been learned or understood! Africans have perceived that "the international community" wants to help them and that all they have to do is be polite and well-mannered for the money to arrive. The Westerners have learned nothing and continue to pour hundreds of billions of euros or dollars, without the population having changed its mentality, without any analysis and evaluation of public or private aid. So we continue to tell ourselves that Africa is the future of Europe and of all humanity. Without examining the mentality of Africans, their mode of sociability, their relationship to work, family and money!
Therefore, the title of the article "project financing is a struggle" is judicious because it brings together two opposing mentalities that cannot agree! who are not on the same wavelength! who have different ulterior motives!
Recourse to the Chinese?
It is far from certain that if Europeans do not come to bring free electricity to Africans, it will be the Chinese who will provide them with coal-fired power stations! The Chinese are not stupid. They were quick to judge their interlocutors. They quickly understand that only the large construction sites that the President of the local republic can boast of having had installed, has a value of political exchange. Going to put electricity in the town of XXX is not profitable from a media point of view.
When will the Europeans go to live with the African population to get to know it? So as not to make a psychological mistake?