Lighting up Central Africa is possible

Sub-regional workshop promotes micro-hydropower plants and access to electricity for rural populations in Central Africa

June 28, 2019

The Masisi micro-hydro power plant in DRC was inaugurated in 2017. It serves around 400,000 people. Photo: Aude Rossignol /UNDP DRC.

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo – Eight countries in Central Africa - Burundi, Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Sao Tomé and Principe, and Rwanda - will meet in a technical workshop supporting Projects for the Promotion of Mini- and Micro-Hydropower stations, from 2 to 5 July, in Goma, North Kivu province, under the theme “Lighting up Central Africa is possible”.

These eight countries share an immense potential in terms of renewable energy sources but all of them face low levels of access to electricity. To reverse this trend, these countries are committed to sharing their experiences and efforts to improve access to electricity in this region and thus transform rural communities’ lives.

Organized by UNDP in partnership with the Congolese Government, the purpose of this workshop is to mobilize robust technical assistance to support the “energy” projects implemented by the different countries in order to provide access to electricity for people living in rural and remote areas.

Specifically, the workshop will enable the evaluation of progress achieved in the different countries involved in mini- and micro-hydropower generation to date, and to identify the main challenges and issues faced in the implementation of these projects. On the other hand, the workshop will offer a space for = the sharing of experience and best practices in order to develop an effective support mechanism, pooling the different experiences and the available resources.

About 50 participants, delegates in charge of rural electrification from the eight countries, energy experts from UNDP Country Offices, UNDP regional technical advisors, economic operators and community representatives will take part in this three-day technical workshop. In addition to technical discussions, a field visit will be organized to put in perspective and better appreciate the complexity of challenges faced by micro -hydropower projects, and to give impetus to constructive discussions and facilitate the design of effective strategies based on previous experience

The last day of the workshop, 5 July, will be entirely dedicated to the DRC, which will have the honor of presenting major initiatives aiming to develop efficient solutions for ensuring access to electricity for all. The objective is to raise awareness on progress made in the country, investment opportunities in the energy sector in Eastern DRC, and to mobilize technical and financial support partnerships.

Through facilitating the participation of several countries, different institutions and potential investors in this event, UNDP hopes that this sub-regional workshop will be the springboard for new domestic and foreign investments in the development of mini- and micro-hydropower plants to ensure access to energy for all, and to facilitate the electrification of Central Africa.

For more information:

Idesbald Chinamula, Coordinator of the Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development Pillar/UNDP, +243 810550282,

Jules Kikanda, Coordinator of the Mini and Micro Hydropower Plants Project/UNDP, +243 998874342

Oana Mihai, Head of Field Office UNDP-North Kivu (Goma), +243 82297774 ;