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30.04.2008 Business & Finance

IFC to embark on lighting Africa

By Stephen Odoi-Larbi - Ghanaian Chronicle

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, would in May embark on a global business conference aimed at lighting the continent from the shackles of darkness.

The conference dubbed 'Lighting Africa 2008' seeks to bring together global players from the lighting industry, international and domestic financial institutions.

A statement issued by the IFC explained that the conference seeks to create a platform for more that 400 lighting industry companies and entrepreneurs from 52 countries to exchange knowledge and ideas, gain key insights into problems been faced by the continent, view the latest technological innovations and meet the people whose lives would be transformed by their efforts.

The first of its kind, Lighting Africa is a global business conference by a joint IFC and World Bank initiative and seeks to provide modern lighting by the year 2030 to more than 250million people in Sub-Saharan Africa, who lack access to electricity.

The conference is designed for investors, financiers, private firms, end users and development agencies to showcase and expand business opportunities targeting low-income populations in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Its main objectives is to increase investor awareness of the significant market opportunities for improved lighting products and services in Sub-Saharan Africa; to link global investors with local suppliers and services providers, to share business and financing model structures for lighting projects and to showcase project opportunities.

The three days conference that begins on May 5-8 in Accra is supported by multiple donors including Global Environment Facility; the World Bank's Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) and Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP); Good Energies Incorporated; the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership; the European Commission; and the Governments of Norway, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

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