Press release

The 1% project for the electrification of Africa



Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), June 22nd 2012 – Press release from the World council for sustainable electrification.


An important step was made in Rio: sustainable energy for all was confirmed as the new subject within the international negotiations. United Nations’ Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has personally involved himself to affirm access to sustainable electrification as the priority of his term.


Access to electrification based on renewable energy sources is at the crossroads of both major objectives, which have mobilized the United Nations for two decades: the eradication of extreme poverty and climate change mitigation. Electricity access, even in limited quantity, allows to break the vicious circle of extreme poverty: lighting; internet, telephone and television; groundwater pumping; pharmaceutical and alimentary refrigeration; agricultural modernization; craft; etc. Hence access to education, health, economic development and maintaining populations in rural areas which are at the heart of the Millennium Development Goals.


However, most of the projects dedicated to rural electrification do not pass the commercial profitability threshold of private companies and financial markets. To bridge the gap, small-scale projects need the mobilization of private investors and new and additional resources.


Presented by the Rio+20 side-event Access to sustainable electrification, the World council for sustainable electrification affirms its ambition to mobilize and gather the relevant stakeholders involved in the universal access, mobilizing the partnership of private companies, regulating authorities, electricity consumers, local authorities, unions, NGOs…


A first project to discuss would be the proposal of an international convention by which the industrialised countries will institute in their national legislation a provision authorizing public utilities to allocate a fraction of the regulated tariff to subsidizing affiliate foundations dedicated to investment in rural electrification using renewable resources, eligible to the CDM Mechanism. With 1% of the electricity tariff, universal access in Africa can be fulfilled by 2030.


The 1% project is part of social investments and voluntary commitments, without taxations or bureaucracy. Twenty years after the Earth Summit in Rio, the project would transform the international solidarity objectives into concrete realizations, bringing clean kilowatt hours to poor populations presently deprived of access.


The World council for sustainable electrification, a French initiative, received strong support at Rio+20.


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