The U.S. Trade and Development Agency on Wednesday announced a grant to Nigeria’s Renewable Energies Company, Sosai for a feasibility study to connect more than 200,000 women, farmers, and rural citizens to new solar-powered mini-grids in Kaduna, Kogi, and Plateau states.
The agency made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday noting its commitment to promoting economic development.
“USTDA is committed to promoting inclusive economic development, and bringing clean energy solutions to rural communities is an important component of our approach,” USTDA’s Acting Director, Enoh Ebong said in the statement.
READ ALSO: Nigeria More Insecure Under Buhari Than Abacha – Mailafia
She added that “Women entrepreneurs like (Sosai CEO) Habiba Ali are setting a vision for Nigeria’s energy future that USTDA enthusiastically supports.”
The USTDA-funded feasibility study will include site surveys, preliminary engineering, economic and financial analyses, and an assessment of the project’s likely developmental impacts on rural women. USTDA’s study also will create business opportunities for U.S. equipment and services suppliers in Nigeria’s mini-grid sector, while supporting up to 20 megawatts of new solar power in rural communities.
“This announcement is emblematic of the U.S.-Nigeria relationship as the USTDA grant supports the development of energy for productive use and promotes inclusion for women and rural dwellers. Working together, we can solve today’s greatest challenges through projects like this,” said Mary Beth Leonard, U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Sosai CEO Habiba Ali added: “This USTDA grant will support a huge step forward for Nigeria in meeting its rural electrification goals as well as kick-start life-changing projects for communities, women, economic development, and the agricultural sector. For Sosai, the benefit of the USTDA grant to our company is immense, positioning us for greater growth and greater possibilities in the future.”
This project supports the U.S. government’s Power Africa and Prosper Africa Initiatives, President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, and the global “2X Challenge” – an initiative by development finance institutions to invest in and create inclusive opportunities for women.
In Nigeria, USTDA has supported the successful roll-out of mini-grids and microgrids in rural and peri-urban communities using U.S. technology. The Agency has an active portfolio of three other ongoing solar mini-grid activities in Nigeria. Collectively, we expect these projects to support energy access for over 66,000 households in Nigeria and help Nigeria meet its goal of universal electrification.