Rural electrification in Mali: Improving energy accessibility to the rural poor

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Publication Date: 
01 September 2007
Mamadou Gaye
UN Millennium Development Goal: 
Ensure environmental sustainability
Develop a global partnership for development

In Mali, only 10% of the country's 12 million inhabitants have access to electricity. Access is even lower, just 2%–3%, in rural areas, where appliances are powered with car batteries and kerosene lamps. Candles are used for daily lighting. Koraye Kurumba and Yeelen Kura are two rural energy services companies operated in rural Mali by Electricité de France, in partnership with the Dutch energy company NUON and the French TOTAL, with support from the French Agency for the Environment and Energy Efficiency. Their low-cost electricity, based on solar home systems or small low-voltage village micronetworks supplied by diesel generators, made big development impacts. They enhanced standards of living. They also developed new income-generating activities. And they improved the quality of health care and education. Backed by a new institutional framework and international donors, the mode, designed to ensure profitability, sustainability, scalability and local ownership, is to be expanded beyond the 24 villages and 40,000 people it serves today.

Citation: Gaye, Mamadou. "Rural Electrification in Mali: Improving Energy Accessibility to the Rural Poor." GIM Case Study No. A017. New York: United Nations Development Programme, 2008