In the Central African Republic, only 700,000 people of its 4.9 million people have access to electricity and about 60 percent of the country’s population live in rural areas. Electricity access to the national power grid is limited and unpredictable. This lack of electricity access has made the country vulnerable during the COVID19 pandemic. A 2016 World Health Organization study found that half of the health facilities outside the capital, Bangui, don’t function and more than 75 percent of health facilities are unable to offer basic services.
NRECA International supported the World Bank in a one-year project to provide the CAR Government with information they needed to increase electricity access through renewable energy mini-grid and off-grid solutions. This “CAR Mini-grid Technical Characterization and Business Model Identification” project also included recommendations for productive uses of electricity, private sector participation, knowledge sharing and capacity building.
The tasks included:
- Using a customized Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) technology to identify 30 provincial and district cities that have the potential demand for mini-grid sites. This was based on characteristics that included population density, and existing healthcare and education facilities.
- An evaluation of CAR’s current policy and regulatory framework for the electricity sector and recommendations for improvements to create favorable environments to develop mini-grids in the country.
- World Bank