Rural Electrification

Rural Electrification
& MiniGrid Program

In the ECOWAS Energy Policy document, the Strategic Strategic Objective 2 is to  Ensure universal access to adequate, affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity services.  

Universal access is a major challenge in the region, as almost half of the population still does not have  access to electricity services. The situation in ECOWAS in terms of quality of service, costs and prices  of electricity is mixed. This requires actions adapted to each national situation. Furthermore, the  significant differences between the situations in urbanised and peri-urban areas and those in rural areas  call for differentiated actions, which are possible thanks to renewable energies and the private sector’s interest. 

In ECOWAS, access to electricity is characterised by very strong disparities between countries and within countries between urban and rural areas, indicating that policies and action plans must be adapted to each situation. In rural areas, access to electricity remains low despite some progress during the decade 2010-2020. In addition, the quality of service (frequent outages, fluctuating voltage levels, etc.) is below international standards. At the regional level, the rate of household access to electricity in 2019 was around 54%. Of the 15 ECOWAS countries, only three have a rural electricity access rate of more than 35%. 

This strategic objective will be implemented by strengthening the planning and implementation of electrification programmes, particularly in rural areas.In terms of targets for mini-grids. 128,000 mini-grids should be installed for an estimated investment of 32.2 billion euros. 

Improving access to electricity in rural areas by promoting the deployment of off-grid solutions as well as grid extension, thereby contributing to the achievement of the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy (EREP) targets of 25% by 2030. 


  • EREF 1, EREF 2, EREF 3  
  • DPER-SE project, 40 clean mini-grids have been developed, providing 400 kW of clean energy to 40 villages in Kolda, Sedhiou, Ziguinshor and Tambacounda, in south-east Senegal.  
  • ECOWAS COVID-19 Response and Recovery Support Fund (RECOVID), electrification of health and education centres in Togo and Gambia;   
  • AGoSEREE-AO – Improving the Governance of the RE & EE sector in West Africa  
  • Capacity building training on Small Hydropower development standards, March 19-22, 2024 – Abuja, Nigeria 


  • West Africa Regional Energy Program under Desert to Power-  
  • Regional Off-Grid Electrification Programme (ROGEAP), funded by the World Bank, a USD 200 million project.  
  • Support for rural electrification via renewable energy systems in the Liptako-Gourma region – pilot phase 
  • ECOWAS Special Intervention Fund  

Under Preparation  

  • Creation of the ECOWAS Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Facility (EREEEF), a new $75 million blended finance facility to support small and medium-sized RE&EE projects and companies in rural and peri-urban areas;  
  • Development of the regional Mini-Grid Program.   
  • Desert To Power Regional Technical Assistance 

  • Implementation of projects supported by the EREF facility by the public and private sectors. 
  • Rural health centers have been electrified with a sustainable management system. 
  • Bankable projects have been developed for countries following feasibility studies. 
  • The regulatory frameworks are favorable to the development of rural electrification infrastructure. 
  • The capacities of private and public players have been strengthened. 
  • The rate of rural electrification has increased in line with objectives. 



World Bank







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