Reducing the Cost to Connect in Togo
In Togo, connecting a household to the power grid can cost twice as much as a family earns in a month. Such high costs keep electricity out of reach for millions of people.
Power Africa recently worked with the Government of Togo to make grid connections more affordable for all.
More than half of Togo’s population lives and works without electricity. While there is a demand for electricity access, the initial set-up fees to connect to the grid can be prohibitively costly.
To address this gap, in 2022, Power Africa supported Togo’s Ministry of Energy to launch Fonds Tinga, a fund dedicated to assisting low-income households access electricity through a repayable loan extended over 10 years.
Fonds Tinga is a revolving fund, meaning available resources at the end of a given year are reinjected into the pool to finance household connections for the following year.
Power Africa offered guidance during phase 1 of the Ministry of Energy’s Universal Access program, also known as Electricity for All program, which focused on reducing upfront connection costs.
Through Fonds Tinga, Togolese households are able to connect to the grid for a modest upfront cost of 1,000 CFA ($1.60), instead of 104,000 CFA ($167.00). This 100-fold decrease in upfront connection costs represents a significant step in increasing access.
Power Africa also assisted with financial modeling and provided guidance on engaging other development partners and financial institutions. In addition, Power Africa provided management and operational guidance to the Ministry to oversee the fund.
The drastic reduction of upfront fees and possibility of long-term reimbursement should significantly accelerate connections and provide Togo’s national electricity utility, Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo (CEET), with sustainable fee generation.
Fonds Tinga, along with existing efforts to extend the electricity grid and deploy off-grid solutions, position Togo well to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030. During the pilot phase of Togo’s universal access project, Power Africa supported Togo to achieve 38,376 new connections.
Power Africa anticipates the number of connections will increase significantly in the coming phase, with a target of connecting 1.2 million households to the grid by 2030.
To further assist with scaling up access, the Power Africa team plans to provide technical assistance to CEET on geospatial information tools, as well as other applications to enable tracking of electrification projects.
An additional component of future support will focus on equipping CEET’s project coordination unit with practical, operational skills for the management of electrification projects.
Universal electricity access is a top priority for many governments in West Africa. Power Africa has supported various utilities and ministries in the region, who are at different stages of their Electricity for All plans. For example, Power Africa has assisted Benin and Togo to structure their nascent Electricity for All plans; Senegal to accelerate the results of its existing plan; and Côte d’Ivoire to digitize electrification projects.
Power Africa is also engaging, alongside the African Development Bank, on the Desert to Power initiative. This program’s goal is to generate 500 MW of solar power in the G5 Sahel, and connect 695,000 households to the electricity grid. These ambitious efforts support West African countries to reach their regional universal electricity access goals.