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Togo: How to finance an affordable electrification rate?

Despite the enormous energy potential in Togo, a great number of the population suffers from serious lack of electricity. Given the growing demand, and aware of the crucial role of electric power for economy and social well-being, the Togolese senior officials have developed several micro and macro energy projects tailored to meet the power needs.


Electrification in Togo is still quite poor. The Ministry of Energy talks about 30.27% urban electrification rate, with 57% in urban areas and 6% in rural areas. To overcome this deficiency, the government has developed an energy plan to meet the people’s need.

“Our ambition is to achieve an electrification rate of 50% by 2020. If the program continues at the expected rate, Togo will reach an electrification rate of more than 50% by 2020 and 90% in 2030,” said Marc Ably Bidamon, Minister of Energy and Mining. According to him, the plan is a response to the ever-increasing demand for electricity and requires several billions of dollars.


The Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA), the West African Development Bank (BOAD) and others institutions to support energy projects

To facilitate access to energy and meet the demand, Togo has validated, in agreement with financial institutions, a plan to promote renewable energies. In this vein, the West African Development Bank (BOAD) signed, in November 2016, a loan agreement with Togo amounting to CFA 6 billion for the partial financing of the decentralized rural electrification project in 62 areas in the 5 regions of Togo, from solar photovoltaic system. In addition to this direct loan from the BOAD, the project is also expected to benefit from financing of CFA 14.183 billion from the Energy Development Fund (EDF) set up by UEMOA and managed by the BOAD.

«This project is the first of the 3 stages expected in the implementation of the solar energy development Program, of which total cost is estimated at CFA 80 billion. It will provide 12,300 rural households with electricity in 2018, and contribute to the rural electrification rate in the country from 6% in 2016 to 7.5% 2018, » said Christian Adovelande, President of the BOAD. According to the top management, this urgent project should be tackled quickly by the Togolese government and the BOAD.

Moreover, the Development Energy Promotion Program (DEPP) was officially launched in January 2017 in Tsévié (about 35 km in the north of Lomé). Subsidized to the tune of € 955,250 (nearly CFA 627 million, 80% by the EU and 20% by the Tsévié Town Council), this initiative aims to facilitate people’s sustainable access to key services in the city and surroundings. This short-term and long-term project will enable to address the energy deficit of the city (capital of the maritime region) on a sustainable basis.


Forecast by 2030

According to the Minister of Mining and Energy, with an average growth rate of 8% per year, electricity demand has increased over the past five years. “With major expansion, electricity grid and electrification projects, the demand is increasing from 216 MW in 2014 to a forecast of 314 MW in 2020 and 610 MW by 2030,” said Marc Ably Bidamon.

Thus, Togo has launched the project to connect over 32,000 new subscribers in the Lomé adjoining districts (Zanguéra, Kégué, Djagblé, Adétikopé, Légbassito) and along the Lomé-Agbodrafo road (Dévikinmé, Togokomé, Agovodou, Agbodrafo, Djassemé And Kpessi). With an overall cost of CFA 1.539 billion, the first phase of the works will end in May 2017.

However, it must be remembered that, despite the Togolese government’s major energy policy projects, efforts still have to be done to achieve the goal of universal access to reliable, sustainable, modern and affordable energy services. Unfortunately, the forecasts do not make it possible to achieve it even in 2030.


Author: Emmanuel Atcha // Photo: Photovoltaic panels in the streets of Lomé © Emmanuel Atcha

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