Nigeria,15 other countries to benefit from ROGEAP renewable energy prog

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By Olugbenga Salami

No fewer than 16 countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Niger Republic, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali, have been earmarked to benefit from the Economic Community of West African States/Regional Off-Grid Electricity Access Project, ECOWAS/ROGEAP grant initiative for Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs for 2024.

Other eligible countries are Burkina Faso, Benin Republic, Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Togo, Chad, Mauritania and Central African Republic.

This, according to a statement issued by Odutayo Oluseyi, was disclosed at a second workshop organized by the ECOWAS/ROGEAP for its journalists network held in Lome, the capital of Togo, where they were sensitized on the programme since inception two years ago.

Presenting the ROGEAP activities since kick-off, Mr. Syila Elhadji of ECOWAS represented, said about 3387 USD have been put towards the funding of the project by the Wold Bank, Clean Technology Fund and the Directorate General for International Cooperation of Netherlands while the project will be implemented by ECOWAS through its Project Funds Managers, PFMs.

On the achievements recorded from 2023 to 2024, other fund managers, listed the pilot implementation/launch of ROGEAP in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivorie, Mali and Mauritania, provision of entrepreneurship and financial support to SMEs under the ROGEAP entrepreneurship business workshop and the establishment of a total of 245 SMEs and 39 female-led businesses.

The PFM, while enumerating ROGEAP varying stages of grants and the modalities and criteria of obtaining them, said grant amount ranges from $10,000 – $25,000, $50,000 – $150,000 and $150,000 – $250,000, adding that the stages of business are from one to three.

He further explained business categorization and eligibility, saying that the start-up company/stage 1 attracts $10,000 – $25,000 with three full-time staff, 300 solar home kits or 1 ,500 lanterns sold with annual revenue of $100,000

Also, early-stage company/stage 2 ranges from$50,000 – $150,000 with 25 full-time staff, 300–30,000 solar home kits or 1,500–50,000 lanterns sold while the annual revenue is $3,000,000

For the growth-stage company/stage 3, it’s from $150,000 – $250,000, 25 full-time staff, 30,000 solar home kits or 50,000 lanterns sold.

The statement further disclosed that the PFM has a dedicated team of 23 seasoned, regional and international experts inclusive and diverse experts from 13 countries. for providing required support to SMEs and have strategically located regional offices to ensure reach of SMEs.

“With the next call for grant in April, 2024, the objective of ROGEAP is surely being realized. ROGEAP aims to improve access to sustainable energy in the 15 ECOWAS member countries, including Cameroon, Chad, Mauritania, and Central African Republic by building a regional market for off-grid solar (OGS) products and supporting value chain for stakeholders,” the statement added.