The PowerUp NREA Network: Building the networks needed to achieve electricity access for all

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This blog was published on March 24, 2023

The private sector has already helped almost half a billion people gain access to life-changing off-grid solar solutions, powering homes, businesses, and vital public infrastructure. However, 730 million people still live without electricity access today: the majority in Africa. So how can we create the foundations for the off-grid industry to reach further and faster?

One step is building a network of national renewable energy associations (NREAs) that can help create lasting and sustainable off-grid markets in their countries.

Why support NREAs?

NREAs are key actors in creating positive enabling environments for national off-grid electrification markets. They work to bring together the private sector, governments, investors, and local stakeholders to plan and implement electricity access strategies and support their members with tools and resources to help them reach more energy-poor customers. Yet, across Africa, NREAs are at varied stages of growth and maturity, with the majority needing capacity building and support to effectively promote the off-grid industry and optimize its impact.

To build this capacity, GOGLA – supported by the Shell Foundation and USAID — worked with 11 African NREAs last year in Tanzania, Kenya, Senegal, DRC, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Mozambique, Uganda, and Somalia to enhance their expertise in engaging policymakers, ability to contribute to national electrification planning and initiatives, and capacity to guide off-grid enterprises. Dedicated support led to a range of targeted activities in each country, including white papers and events on fiscal and energy transition planning (Tanzania, Nigeria), workshops and campaigns on standards and quality (Uganda, Sierra Leone, DRC), and analysis to inform national electrification strategies (Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Somalia, and Zimbabwe). The organization also expanded the wider PowerUp network to 20 NREAs, enabling a greater number of associations to share knowledge and best practice.

MI Facility NREA Support: Phase 2

With these foundations in place, we are delighted to announce the launch of the second phase of the NREA support project in April with a focus on 10 countries. The work will explore priority policy areas in each country and be focused on achieving specific outcomes to accelerate the pace and scale of energy access.

For more information on the project, please contact Collin Gumbu at or Francis Wainaina at or watch this space for more updates in the year ahead.

We would also like to share our thanks to the Shell Foundation and USAID for their ongoing support and to all the NREAs for their dedication and commitment to enhancing and scaling national electricity access.

  • Tanzania Renewable Energy Association (TAREA)
  • Kenya Renewable Energy Association (KEREA)
  • Renewable Energies Business Council of Senegal (COPERES)
  • Congolese Renewable and Decentralised Energy Association (ACERD)
  • Renewable Energy Association of Sierra Leone (REASL)
  • Solar Industry Association of Zambia (SIAZ)
  • Renewable Energy Association of Zimbabwe (REAZ)
  • Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN)
  • Mozambican Renewable Energy Association (AMER)
  • Uganda National Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Association (UNREEEA)
  • Somali Green Energy Association (SOGEA)
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