The Observatory’s case study entitled “Promoting a third generation mini-grid design/manufacturing industry in Sub-Saharan Africa” is now online (April 2022).
It is estimated that between 100,000 and 150,000 additional mini-grids will be needed in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 to meet the “access to electricity for all” scenario. However, no country in Sub-Saharan Africa has an industrial tool capable of manufacturing mini-grids locally. As a result, by 2030, the acquisition of several tens of thousands of installations will force the African states concerned to import most of the $100 billion worth of equipment and services needed. The impact on the debt and trade balance of these countries will be very heavy. One solution is to develop integrated African clusters for the design and manufacture of third generation mini-grids, in one or more Sub-Saharan African countries, based on a co-production approach between European and African manufacturers. Because of its high-tech characteristics, this project appears to be at odds with the strategies usually advocated for developing the manufacturing sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, which are based on “traditional” sectors.