The Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) concluded its first trade mission to Rwanda and Uganda, which took place from 1-8 March, 2017. The trade mission reflects RECP’s core objective of promoting renewable energy markets in Africa. In partnership with relevant government institutions, private sector associations and development partners, RECP facilitated two days of extensive discussions and business match-making sessions coupled with site visits to pioneering renewable energy projects in both Rwanda and Uganda.
The event focused on market segments representing significant opportunities for the private sector. With an average electrification rate below 30% in both Rwanda and Uganda, the off grid sector with specific focus on solar PV and small hydro power was the target market.
The mission welcomed 11 European companies from the solar and small hydro power industry to Kampala and seven companies to Kigali. In addition, over 20 Rwandan and Ugandan companies participated. Please refer to the company profiles (under “downloads” below) for more details.
Participants actively engaged in series of discussions capturing the latest developments of policies and regulatory regimes as well as financing opportunities. In both countries, panel discussions featuring policy makers, financiers, development partners and experts shed light on current market status, government priorities, investment opportunities and available financing solutions. In Uganda, a session was held on the impact of the overall solar PV system quality on its performance. Participants debated how businesses should strive for quality while maintaining competitiveness. Additionally, the trade mission provided a stage to voice lessons learned from pioneering businesses in Rwanda and Uganda from the solar and hydro power sector. In addition to site visits, several guest speakers presented their success stories and experience.
At the end of each day, a targeted B2B session took place where companies explored partnership opportunities with their chosen counterpart. More than 90 Business-to-business (B2B) sessions were concluded in both countries.
Moreover, based on a request from several private sector representatives in Uganda, RECP with the support of Open Capital Advisors organized a preparatory session to help business developers pitch their projects effectively to investors and potential business partners.
The Event in Numbers:
- 11 European companies from solar and small hydro power industry in Uganda
- 7 European companies from solar and small hydro power industry in Rwanda
- 20+ Businesses from each of Rwandan and Ugandan
- 90+ B2B meetings
- 4 Site visits to solar and hydro power projects in Rwanda and Uganda
- 160+ Total participants
- 50+ Speakers from industry representatives, policy makers, financiers and experts
Post Event Evaluation Outcome:
RECP immediate follow up with participating companies revealed promising results in terms of facilitating business deals and partnerships. The post event survey indicated the following:
- Respondents rated the trade mission at 8.2/10
- All respondents stated they were able to identify project leads! At least 15 potential partnerships emerging from the trade mission were reported to have “serious potential” for closing a business deal
- All respondents confirmed increased interest in the market and doing business in target countries
- All respondents would consider attending another RECP trade mission and would recommend it to others
RECP extends its appreciation to its African and European partners supporting the trade mission particularly their role in mobilizing participants and disseminating the trade mission Information.