A Letter From The CEO
Dear AMDA and broader minigrid community,
As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the world, we at AMDA are taking action to help you through this challenging period. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, we have laid out some relevant information and resources on a COVID response page on our website, which we’ll update regularly. Aside from this we are working on the following five major pieces in your name:
- We have developed a letter to governments to urge them to declare minigrids essential services so you are not affected by curfews or business shut-down mandates, which we have seen in dozens of countries. If your country is facing such a business shut down and would like AMDA support in lobbying your government on this topic, please email us! We are drafting a letter to investors and policymakers on the market implications of COVID-19 on your businesses, sharing the urgent need to ramp up support to you in this challenging time, and how they can work with us and you to help you through this and to continue your growth.
- We are also developing a practical industry COVID-19 response guide for all of you, working with Nuru in DRC on adapting their Ebola response measures into the current context.
- Most importantly, we are part of a group of over 30 offgrid investors developing a 10695.00KSh million relief fund for the offgrid industry that we aim to have online in the next few months. To help us develop this fund most appropriate to address your needs we urgently request that you fill out this five-minute survey on how you are being affected by the pandemic to ensure the fund is designed with your real-world needs in mind.
- Upon their request, we are also working extremely closely with SEforAll as they directly advise the UN Secretary General on the crafting of a UN Humanitarian Fund to address the COVID-19 crisis. This fund will aim to help cover lost earnings from customers who are restricting their activities and therefore energy consumption.
As this situation continues to unfold, we will continue to focus on the issues above and also on the following two overarching priorities:
- Protecting (y)our staff; and
- Advocating for continued sector growth
PROTECTING THE STAFF OF OUR INDUSTRY
Our top concern is the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on people — our staff in AMDA countries and your organization’s staff in the field and remotely. We are concerned for all our members and the thousands-strong minigrid industry, as well as for the many millions of others impacted both in Africa and around the world.
At AMDA, we have been working remotely for two weeks now, following all the latest guidelines at the national level, here in Kenya but also at the global level, notably from relevant organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). As noted above, we have also compiled a set of useful guidance documents available on our Covid-19 Resource center. Please contact us if your have questions or additional ideas on how we can support you.
CONTINUING TO ADVOCATE FOR MINIGRIDS
These are unprecedented times for Africa and the world. Our team is working tirelessly to make our case that the minigrid industry must be considered in any legislation aimed at supporting economies during this crisis. In many countries, legislatures are responding to the crisis.
Our industry is resilient. As governments and other world leaders work to respond to this evolving crisis, we are going to do our part to ensure comprehensive recovery and support countries in meeting their needs both in terms of energy access and sustainable growth.
We are closely monitoring at every national level how those changes may impact legislative efforts we are already engaged in and we will also focus on how the pandemic may impact our companies’ ability to deliver on countries universal electrification goals. In this particular context, the message is clear: Access to Energy is vital in both epidemic/pandemic preparedness and response. As such, national and regional advocacy will continue insistently for pro-minigrid policies that ensure the industry’s workforce is protected, that our industry is considered in any economic recovery measures and that our companies can continue to compete in the face of this pandemic and its aftermath.
It is evident that COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on our industry, whether it is on supply chain disruptions, project delays, sales challenges and others. And there is still much we are yet to know. While we have a great deal of anecdotal hints of the impact of this virus on our sector, it will take some time to totally assess the impact of this crisis on minigrid companies. Again – to support you adequately, we NEED YOU to provide us information on how it is affecting your projects, sales, fundraising or any other impacts from COVID-19 through this survey.
Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe,
Africa Minigrid Developers Association