Ecovillages National Program

Project / Transforming rural villages into ecovillages through various initiatives, including access to a clean and reliable energy service
Launch Year / 2008 — Currently underway
Developer / Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric, a partner in the project, has equipped three villages with a solar micro power plant that was specifically designed for decentralized electrification in rural areas. Equipment includes solar panels, a central battery and a charging station for portable batteries.

Decentralized rural electrification via small-scale grids

Project / Providing access to electricity through a pre-paid scheme
Location / Kayes Area
Launch Year / 1999 — In progress
Developer / Korayé Kurumba (KK)

Korayé Kurumba RESCO aims to increase economic activity and quality of life for the people living in the Kayes region of Western Mali. Low-tension microgrids powered by small diesel plants serve over 90% of the villagers. The remaining 10% use photovoltaic kits, with a total of 3,775 clients to date in 16 villages.

Decentralized Rural Electrification of 14 diémas

Project / Providing electricity to schools and educational centers for literacy which serve rural populations
Location / Gourma Province
Launch Year / 2006 — Completed
Developer / ESF Midi-Pyrenees in collaboration with Tin Tua (

Developed by Electriciens Sans Frontières (Electricians Without Borders), this project aims to support Tin Tua: a Burkinabe NGO that works to increase literacy. ESF has thus provided 14 groups of villages (diémas) of the Gulmu area with solar photovoltaic equipment to electrify administrative buildings and classrooms.

Initial and continuous training of operators and rural electricity personnel in West Africa

Project / Creating and organizing a sustainable energy program in West Africa through initial and continuing education of operators and other rural electricity personnel
Location / Mali and Burkina Faso
Launch Year / 2011 — Currently underway
Developer / EDF (

These courses are designed to be integrated into the national training programs to provide the practical skillset for rural electrification. Existing training programs in each pilot country were listed. The learning contents are developed and/or adapted regarding the skills needed in the field. The contents of the programs cover technical skills as well as management and business administration skills.

Decentralized electrification with individual solar kits

Project / Providing rural villages with electricity by installing individual photovoltaic systems and training local technicians to maintenance
Location / Hon, Koussoukpa,Domè (municipality of Zogbodomey)
Launch Year / 2009 — Completed
Developer / Beninese Association for Awareness and Development (ABED)

In Benin, only 3% of households have access to electricity in rural areas. 308 households, that is, 1,800 people, spread throughout the villages of Domè, Hon and Koussoukpa (about 25% of the population) are now equipped with individual solar panels. Each family has two 9-Wc lamps, and they are able to charge a mobile phone and plug in a radio.

Providing solar energy services to three rural villages

Project / Creation of a solar power plant
Location / Ketou, Ouesse, Toviklin
Launch Year / 2012 — In progress
Developer / ECOLABS and Schneider Electric (

Schneider Electric partnered with Ecolabs, through the BipBop program, to help provide renewable energy to off-grid villages, especially for water treatment plant, health centres, education facilities and agricultural machinery. Schneider Electric provides the Villasol solar power plants and the individual solar kits that will be sold to customers through local companies.

Rural electrification with individual solar kits

Project / Individual solar solutions in rural areas through a network of franchises across the country
Launch Year / 2010 — Currently underway
Developer / BPC Lesedi, a joint-venture between BPC (55%) and EDF (45%) (

In Botswana, 51% of the population has access to electricity. BPC Lesedi sells individual photovoltaic kits to bring electricity to off-grid rural areas. The company currently relies on a network of eight franchises in the Gaborone and Maun regions. They commercialize the 3 energy plans, maintain the equipment and collect fees from their 500 customers.

Rechargeable battery rental

Project / Access to electricity through a network of stations offering energy services (photovoltaic solar and portable battery exchange) for small businesses and low-income families in urban and rural area
Location / Dar es Salam and Iringa
Launch Year / 2009 — Currently underway
Developer / EGG-Energy (

In Tanzania, 80% of the population lives within five kilometers of the power grid, but only 10% has access to electricity. Given these circumstances, portable battery rental services seem to be an effective alternative for providing basic electricity to households off grid.