The RECP, of which ARE is a key partner, hosted the conference’s “Business Day” at the Off-Grid Investment Forum 2016. This event mobilised the extensive partner network of ARE and brought together African and European entrepreneurs and financiers active in the field of rural electrification. It opened with remarks from Jacob Waslander, Head of Climate and Energy Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands. He gave an overview of international progress and initiatives towards renewable energy after the COP 21. Later on, innovative financing instruments presented their approaches and modalities to participating companies. Furthermore, remaining barriers and opportunities in financing rural electrification projects were discussed in a dedicated panel discussion.
At the heart of the programme was a structured matchmaking session, which offered the opportunity to bring together developers and investors. This session allowed diverse actors from various backgrounds to exchange on a more formal and straightforward way. 236 participants used this opportunity to expand their network and a total of 621 meetings were held. As a result of an early reach out to participants and also by filling in a structured questionnaire, attendees could meet their ideal match and discuss future business opportunities.
In addition to the overall mobilisation via ARE’s partner network, the RECP sponsored the participation of a variety of African project proponents looking for business partners and/or sources of funding. Furthermore, RECP had mobilised the participation of some of the key funding programmes for rural electrification projects, such as the European Commission’s ElectriFi, ResponsAbility, TCX Fund, DOEN Foundation et. al.