Project Development & Financing Workshop for West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF)
A Project Development & Financing Workshop was held for the short-listed projects participating in this year’s West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF).
Lomé, Togo: July 4, 2013 – The Workshop organized by the Climate Technology Initiative Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN), the Regional Clean Energy Investment Initiative (RCEII) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) was designed to provide expert inputs to the short-listed project developers on the development and structuring of their projects and the preparation of bankable business plans and investor pitches from professional advisors, clean energy investors and commercial banks. The Workshop also marked the beginning of intensive one-on-one coaching to the project developers that will take place for the next 3 months. The project developers will receive coaching on finalization of investor ready business plans, among which around 10 projects will be showcased to targeted investors at the West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF). WAFCEF, which seeks to match promising clean energy projects from West Africa with investment and financing, is scheduled on 8 October 2013 in Accra, Ghana.
Twenty two projects located in Nigeria (7), Cape Verde (2), Senegal (2), Mali (2), Ghana (2), ECOWAS (2), Togo (1), Guinea-Bissau (1), Liberia (1), Sierra Leone (1) and Benin (1), were short-listed to participate in the WAFCEF process after a regional call for proposals for renewable and clean energy projects launched in March 2013, which attracted over 72 proposals from ECOWAS countries of West Africa. The projects were selected on the basis of their commercial viability, stage of maturity, growth / replication potential, technological, product or services innovation and interest for investors as well as their potential to produce clean energy sustainably and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while achieving other environmental and developmental benefits. The projects seek to raise finance for deployment of a range of clean and renewable technologies including biomass, biogas, bio-fuels, distributed and off-grid generation, energy efficiency, hydroelectric, wave, solar, and LPG from flare gas.
The aim of the Workshop was to provide project developers with an understanding of the expectations and requirements of different investor types and the requisite tools and information to prepare bankable business plans. Each project developer was given an opportunity to provide an elevator pitch for the project and received immediate feedback from the PFAN mentors. It also provided a useful forum for the project developers to interact and benefit from the views of other participants from various countries working on different but related technologies.
The highlights of the Workshop included:
•Introduction to RCEII by Mr. Edward Hoyt, Nexant (RCEII Contractor);
•Introduction to CTI PFAN by Mr. Peter Storey, CTI PFAN Global Coordinator;
•Introduction to ECREEE by Ms. Aminata Fall, Project Assistant of ECREEE;
•Introduction to USAID and its initiatives in West Africa by Mr. James Soukamaneuth and Mr. Kwabena Boafo Adom-Opare, USAID West Africa;
•Keynote Address from Mr. Traoré K. Tchakpide, Director of Electricity, Ministry of Mines and Energy of Togo;
•Introduction & Overview of CTI PFAN from Mr. Bobby Namiti, CTI PFAN East Africa Coordinator;
• “What an investor is looking for in a business plan” – Presentation & input from Mr. Albert Boateng, Director of West Africa Persistent Energy Partners;
• “The importance of a strong business plan to making carbon finance work” – Presentation & input from Mr. Chunyu Liang, Technical Officer of UNFCCC CDM Regional Cooperation Center, Lomé; and
•”Review of key elements of a successful business plan” – Presentation & input from Mr. Nagaraja Rao, CTI PFAN India Country Coordinator
The Workshop brought together 48 participants including representatives from the short-listed projects, mentors, organizers and observers.
Comments provided by participants at the Workshop:
“CTI is a great initiative that is closing the gap between viable clean energy projects and financing. Our organisation is benefiting immensely from the mentoring programme and pitching our business plan for investments. CTI has contributed greatly to our plans to scale up activities in Nigeria and subsequently sub-saharan Africa.” – Segun Adaju, President/CEO, BlueOcean Energy, Nigeria
“I just want to say thank you for doing what you do. I have attended several financing fora in the sub-region and was amazed at the transparent manner in which you brought together entrepreneurs from different backgrounds to exhibit their expertise and also learn from each other and mentors alike. Not only was I amazed to witness the green revolution process in West Africa, I truly felt like a citizen of Africa due to the Pan African nature of the business models showcased at the event.” – Marindame Kombate, Investor (WAFCEF mentor)
“Avec cette initiative, vous participez à accompagner les entrepreneurs africains à mieux structurer leurs projets et à les rendre bancables. Merci pour la formation et l’encadrement des plans d’affaires. Merci pour tout!” – Abdoulaye Fall, CEO, YESA (Yaxanal Energy systems in Africa), Senegal
WAFCEF is being promoted by the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the Climate Technology Initiative Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN) and the Regional Clean Energy Investment Initiative (RCEII) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), together with the African Development Bank (AfDB) through its Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), Banque Oeste Africaine de Developpement (BOAD), and the African Biofuels and Renewable Energy Company (ABREC), which is affiliated with the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID).
The purpose of WAFCEF is to identify and nurture entrepreneurs, start-up companies and existing companies with promising clean energy projects by linking them with investors and financiers. West African businesses selected through the Business Plan Competition will receive free mentoring to help them polish their business plans, develop convincing investment pitches, and formulate a commercially, financially, socially and environmentally viable growth strategy that in turn will significantly enhance the possibility of obtaining financing.