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A two day forum on energy and water financing was held on October 30 and 31 at the Hilton Hotel. The forum that was organized by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and Participatory Microfinance Group for Africa (PAMIGA) was held with the aim to promote microfinance as an instrument against poverty and hunger.
The forum held under the theme ‘Innovation in clean energy and water access through microfinance’ was attended by different African microfinance institutions. The event focused on new ideas in micro-financing and guide actors involved in increasing access for financially-excluded populations to clean energy and water services.
Among the topics covered at the forum includes; consumer financing models through microfinance, pay as you go (mobile payment system) investment and the involvement of impact investors in scaling up energy and water enterprises to scale, village electrification and the evolving area of impact measurement.
It was stated that access to energy and water remain serious human development challenges with nearly half the world’s population lacking reliable access to modern energy services. It is estimated that currently 780 million people are without access to safe water source.
It was also said that the field of energy access is evolving quickly with different innovative solutions being tested. Different local microfinance institutions were able to share their experiences and working models that have been successful with regards to those two areas.
Around 100 delegates from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America representing energy and water suppliers, governments, non-governmental organizations and others also participated in the forum.
Participatory Microfinance Group for Africa (PAMIGA) is a network of African micro finance institutions that work to contribute to unlock the potential of rural Africa. The institutions are stated to reach more than one million clients.
The two day Forum was the combination of PAMIGA’s Expert Meeting on lessons learned from Africa to improve access to clean energy and water through microfinance, and UNCDF’s CleanStart Connect 2014 which unites leading energy and financial service providers, investors, policy makers and development partners to advance practical solutions to reducing energy poverty.