From the Network- December 2018

Dear Friends,

As 2018 comes to a close, I on behalf of the energy access team here at UN Foundation, want to wish you and yours an enjoyable and energizing holiday season.

As another year passes, this provides an opportunity to reflect on a year that was replete of progress and various milestones. While our collective work is far from finished, we’ve shared successes and achieved milestones together in 2018. Peer-to-peer practitioner learning, shining a light on new and emerging practitioners and matchmaking between practitioners and other stakeholders in the energy access space remains some of our most valued services. We hosted a Practitioner Network Networking Event in Washington, DC last week that convened over forty energy access practitioners, donors, and stakeholders. We were pleased to see a few new faces in the DC-area energy access community. The event was a great way to celebrate our community’s accomplishments and head into the new year by forging new relationships and collaboration. Other notable milestones for the last few months also include the presentation of our work on Powering HealthCare at the WHO’s First Air Pollution and Health Conference, as well as at the IOREC side event on renewable energy for the health sector in Singapore. I also had the chance to meet some of you at the Unlocking Solar Capital Africa 2018 in Rwanda early November and the opportunity of meeting some of the practitioners in the mini-grids space in Nigeria and Benin for the work on the Mini-Grids Partnership. We also recently co-organized the SELCO Foundation’s powering health care for India event in Bangalore, where we also spoke about the work UNF has undertaken to support the electrification of rural off-grid health facilities.

Most notably this year, we launched the results of our 2017 Energy Access Practitioner Network survey and are very thankful to all of you who participated. The Survey continues to serve as a great tool to better understand the successes and challenges of the energy access ecosystem.

Finally, we spent November highlighting local off-grid energy Small and Medium Enterprises. In our newsletter this month, we shine a light on Bidhaa Sasa, an enterprise that focuses on rural distribution of quality household goods in rural heartlands of Kenya. They talk about their challenges, their innovative in-house credit scheme and their successes in the space. Learn more about their work here. We also hosted a webinar on the same topic where we were joined by panelists that highlighted the challenges of last mile distribution, potential solutions and support available for off-grid energy enterprises and companies to scale. Don’t miss checking it out here.

We look forward to continuing sharing more about our work with the EAPN, and I look forward to working together in 2019 to achieve even more.