Riding the wave of success in Côte d’Ivoire, EDF and OGE are now tackling the off-grid market in Ghana

Publish on 19/01/2018

Barely one year after EDF and Off-Grid Electric (OGE) launched a joint off-grid electricity supply solution for the Ivorian market, the offering has already been adopted by more than 10 000 households with approximately 50 000 people now enjoying access to electricity. Buoyed by their success, both companies, partnered by the Ghanaian CH Group – an industrial company – are now launching a new joint offering to supply the Ghana market with off-grid solar kits, led by ZEGHA, a dedicated joint venture. This initiative consolidates the position of off-grid power as a major growth opportunity for EDF in Africa.

With 600 million Africans not having access to electricity, off-grid solutions address a vital need and provide a substitute – in the form of solar power – for other CO2-emitting fuels (kerosene, candles, paraffin, etc.), whilst also supplementing the development of traditional systems.

ZECI: Off-grid pioneer in Côte d’Ivoire
ZECI, an EDF-OGE Ivorian joint venture, is the first large-scale partnership between a global electricity company and a start-up specialising in off-grid power. Pioneering in Côte d’Ivoire, ZECI was up and running within just a few weeks. Solar power kits were quickly available for sale in areas where access to power grids was the most lacking. The company is now a leader on the Ivorian market and employs over 400 locals for the sale and maintenance of solar kits. EDF and OGE are aiming to achieve a market share of more than 20% in Côte d’Ivoire by year 2020.

Ghana: a new market with high potential
As is the case with ZECI, ZEGHA will oversee the installation and maintenance of solar kits for homes located in Ghana’s rural and peri-urban areas. These kits comprise easy-to-install solar panels along with batteries for storing electricity, as well as energy-efficient appliances like radios, TVs, fans, mobile phone chargers and lighting. Kits are sold in the form of a 24 to 30-month lease agreement at the end of which the customer becomes owner. The kits are serviced by ZEGHA for a 5-year period.

The range of products sold by ZEGHA comprises two kits with different capacities. The monthly cost for one household ranges from 20 to 27 Euros depending on the model, tantamount to the current electricity expenditure of Ghanaian households for similar usages. Payment is simply made via a mobile phone using the “pay as you go” principle.

EDF, OGE and CH Group are aiming for a Ghana market share of 20%-25% by year 2022. This rate of growth is expected to create 1000 local job opportunities within ZEGHA.

EDF and OGE: a partnership based on operating experience
With 50 years of experience in Africa through its power generation and grid design business, EDF brings its expertise across the entire electricity value chain, along with a detailed knowledge of African markets. OGE, a start-up specialising in off-grid solutions, was involved in the design of the business model and provided technical solutions for the kits. The latter have been verified and tested by EDF R&D, who vouches for their sustainability.

Marianne Laigneau, Group Senior Executive Vice-President in charge of the International Division: “For us, the sale of 10 000 off-grid kits in Côte d’Ivoire within the space of just a few months is living proof of the appeal and efficiency offered by off-grid solutions. We are delighted to be entering the Ghana market with OGE and are already putting together innovative new off-grid solutions to support the energy transition in Africa. Off-grid power is thus becoming a strong contributor to the expansion of our business and fits perfectly into our CAP2030 strategy, which aims to triple the EDF Group’s international business outside of Europe by year 2030.”

“Building upon the success of our initial joint venture with EDF to provide solar solutions to households in Côte d’Ivoire, we’re excited to expand our partnership to Ghana. Ghana marks the fourth African country — in addition to Tanzania, Rwanda and Côte d’Ivoire — where Off Grid Electric has established market leadership." said Xavier Helgesen, co-founder and CEO, Off Grid Electric.

EDF Pulse Africa: three award-winners, three projects with huge future potential

Publish on 20/12/2017

On December 19th, Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF Chairman & CEO, presented prizes to the three winners of the first EDF Pulse Africa awards. The three startups and their future-oriented projects will play an active role in energy development in Africa.

In Paris yesterday, the EDF group presented prizes to three startups from among the total of 97 companies who submitted entries for the very first EDF Pulse Africa awards. The prizes were presented by EDF Chairman & CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy, with the members of the competition’s panel of judges also in attendance. The three winners chosen by the panel won grants ranging from 5,000 to 15,000 Euros, and will also be supported to access EDF’s innovation ecosystem and establish links with French and international financial institutions.

1st prize: MAJIK WATER, a project led by Kenyan entrepreneur Beth Koigi to develop atmospheric water generators supplied with power by solar panels in order to convert humidity in the air into water. “Access to drinking water is one of the continent’s greatest challenges. Our solution helps prevent the spread of certain diseases, thereby helping to save lives. EDF Pulse Africa gives us the opportunity to cross borders and develop our project in francophone Africa. Our project lead team is made up of three women. Female entrepreneurship in Africa must be encouraged,” said Beth Koigi.

2nd prize: LONO, a startup based in Côte d’Ivoire, converts organic waste into biogas for use as cooking fuel, and into biomethane for electricity generation. “Comparing our ideas, sharing our working methods and pooling our knowledge has enabled all of the project leaders to gain a broader outlook. Organic waste represents an inexhaustible source of energy which still receives insufficient attention in Africa,” said Louise Bijleveld, co-founder of LONO.

3rd prize: EDUAIR, led by Yann Nkengue from Cameroon, involves marketing digital boxes that enable access to a wide range of digital content without an Internet connection. The boxes, connected and supplied with power 24 hours a day, help to reduce the digital divide. “Being an entrepreneur is a complex thing to be involved in, and I’m proud to go back to my country with this prize, which will be a source of motivation for our teams. It’s really rewarding, and it will give us a boost whenever we face difficulties with financing or with our profile,” explained Yann Nkengue.

The panel also decided to award a special “coup de coeur” prize to Nicolas Sancy for his NANOE project, which provides a collective solution for the production, storage and distribution of solar energy at local level.

Marianne Laigneau, Group Senior Executive Vice President in charge of the International Division, and Chair of the EDF Pulse Africa awards panel, said: “The EDF Pulse Africa awards express EDF’s strong commitment to supporting such inspiring initiatives, which contribute to the development of the energy solutions of tomorrow, and reflect the dynamism of our portfolio of hydro, biomass and off-grid projects currently under development in Africa. It also provides an opportunity for the EDF Group to identify the people who are working today on the energy solutions of tomorrow.”

Find out EDF Pulse Africa Awards' finalists

Publish on 17/11/2017

The best projects have been selected by experts inside and outside EDF. The filalists will appear before the Grand Jury on December 19, 2017. To see the finalists of this first edition, click on the image!

The EDF Group enters the Egyptian renewable energy market

Publish on 27/10/2017

The EDF Group, via its subsidiary EDF Energies Nouvelles, and the Elsewedy Electric group, have come together to design, build and operate two solar power plants in Egypt with a total capacity of 100 MWAC. This project marks the entry of the EDF Group onto the Egyptian renewable energy market.

Located in Assouan, southern Egypt, the solar plants will be part of one of the largest solar complexes currently under construction anywhere in the world – Benban Solar Project - with a total capacity of 1.8 GWAC. Funding of both plants will be provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency, specialised in investments in southern countries. EDF Energies Nouvelles and the Elsewedy Electric group will be co-shareholders of both solar plants. A power purchase agreement has been signed with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) for a period of 25 years. The construction of the solar power plants will begin in the first quarter of 2018, as soon as the final conditions on the electricity sale contract are approved by the Egyptian authorities.

The project contributes to EDF’s ambition of reaching 50 GW in renewable installed capacity by 2030 and illustrates EDF’s international strategy of breaking into markets with a high development potential. Egypt aims to double the share of renewables in its energy mix by 2020.

Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman and CEO of the EDF Group stated "Our contribution to Benban Solar project illustrates our leadership in the development of low carbon energies. We are proud to support the energy transition in Egypt thanks to renewable projects with a local industrial partner, which is in line with the Group’s CAP 2030 strategy”.

* The PPA covers a capacity expressed in MWac, the standard measure of alternating current.

Is your start-up developing an innovative solution for electricity access in Africa?

Publish on 15/09/2017

Be part of the first edition of EDF Pulse Africa Awards!

EDF Pulse Africa Awards is open to African start-ups that innovate to come out with frugal and disruptive solutions in giving people access to electricty in Africa.

EDF Pulse Africa Prizes will reward innovative projects in any of the following areas :
  • Off-grid electric production: produce and/or store electricity in off-grid areas,
  • Electric usages and services: invent usages or provide services with low-power consumption,
  • Access to water: give people access to water through electricity (agriculture and domestic use).

3 prizes will be awarded by the Grand Jury in Paris on December 19th, 2017.


You want to make a difference for thousands in Africa ? Apply to win up to 15 000 € and take the chance to partner with EDF !
You will have the opportunity to access solutions to boost your project’s development.
More about this call for projects in Africa on and share this opportunity.

Registration period from August 28th to October 8th, 2017, 23.59 pm CET.



Signature of the partnership agreement to foster technical education within the Nachtigal project zone

Publish on 07/07/2017

The Minister of Secondary Education and the General Manager of Nachtigal Hydro Power Company (NHPC) have signed this Thursday June 22 a partnership agreement aiming at reinforcing technical secondary schools within the Nachtigal project zone through the improvement of their infrastructures and equipment. The beneficiaries are the technical secondary schools of Mbandjock, Ntui, Obala and Batchenga.
Beyond the improvement of infrastructures and equipment in the aforementioned schools, both parties undertake through this agreement to collaborate to foster education in civil, electric and mechanic engineering through trainings, site visits, internships …
This agreement is part of NHPC’s environmental and social commitments within the framework of the Nachtigal Amont project, and aims at implementing actions with positive economic and social impact that meet the expectations of the local populations, as well as those of the Cameroonian government.
As a reminder, the Nachtigal Amont project is a hydroelectric project developed by NHPC for the construction of a dam, a 420MW hydro powerplant on the Sanaga River and a 225kV electricity transmission line. Up to 1,500 workers shall be mobilized for the construction of this facility, two third of whom being recruited within a 30km radius.
The signature of this agreement reflects the importance that NHPC holds for the training and professional insertion of young Cameroonians.

EDM and EDF seek to reinforce the peer cooperation across the electricity value chain in Mozambique

Publish on 07/07/2017

Wednesday, 28 June 2017: Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) and Électricité de France (EDF) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to reinforce the peer cooperation in the fields of power generation, transmission and distribution in Mozambique.
The agreement formalises a mutual interest to establish a sustainable and balanced partnership on a range of topics across the electricity value chain. The topics mentioned in the MoU include (among others): power generation (hydropower, thermal), transmission of electricity and regional interconnections, distribution of electricity, ongrid/offgrid electrification, renewable energy, reduction of energy losses programs, certified training and capacity building.


The cooperation will aim to facilitate the sharing of expertise, experience and best practices as well as technical assistance initiatives between both technical teams with regards to technical and organisational process optimisation, operational performance enhancement and skills development. It will also facilitate the evaluation and implementation of joint project opportunities as strategic partners.
The MoU between EDM and EDF strengthens the long-standing relationship between the two national utilities, which started 30 years ago. EDM and EDF have worked jointly on a number of activities including engineering and construction supervision within the fields of hydro power generation (Mphanda Nkuwa, Mavuz and, Chicamba) and electricity transmission (STE, Mozambique-Zimbabwe interconnection, National Control Center feasibility study, Electricity IV, Chibata, Matola and Pemba projects).
EDM Board Member for Operations Mr Carlos Yum said: “The objective of this partnership is to enable EDM to carry out its activities in line with the best international practices and standards in power infrastructure development and operation, by capitalizing on EDF’s vast experience. Within the coming years, EDM’s ambition is that all of EDM’s technical staff in the area of transmission operation must be at par or better than counterparts in utilities in developed countries in Europe, America or Asia. This is a necessary requirement to provide secure and reliable power supply to attract investment into both electrical infrastructure as well as investments by intensive users of energy, commercial and domestic customers, and in support of electrification of the country”.  

A new step for the Nachtigal project

Publish on 28/06/2017

Jean-Bernard Lévy was present on June 6, 2017 when the letter of intent was signed between the Minister of Water and Energy, the Minister of Finance and the various partners in the upstream Nachtigal hydroelectric project. This signature is the result of the negotiation of 4 contracts, including in particular the purchase of electricity, the connection to the public electricity transmission network and the dispatch of electrical energy.  
This signing marks an important step in the implementation of the Nachtigal project foreseen by the Electricity Sector Development Plan. It enables the launch of the detailed review process of the project and the contracts by the future lenders as part of the completion of the financing planned for the end of 2017. 
On the same day, Jean-Bernard Lévy also signed a cooperation agreement with the Minister of Water and Energy, which confirms the Group’s desire to take part in the development of Cameroon. 

A new phase for the Nachtigal hydroelectric project

Publish on 25/04/2017

Cameroon – On April 20th, Cameroon’s Minister of Water and Energy, Basile Atangana Kouana, and the director of Nachtigal Hydro Power Company (NHPC), Olivier Flambard, signed the Power Generation Licensing Agreement for the upstream Nachtigal hydroelectric project.  
This agreement marks a big milestone in the progress of the Nachtigal project, a hydroelectric power plant that will be built on the Sanaga River at the upstream Nachtigal site. This development, put in place by NHPC, foresees the construction of a dam and a power station with a total capacity of 420 MW by 2020.
It will provide the country with an additional source of stable electricity and will contribute positively to the regional and national economy.
Click here for more information (French)

1000 customers have already choosen Zeci!

Publish on 26/01/2017

Off Grid Electric, a leading distributed solar company in Africa, and EDF announced in Novembre 2016 a partnership to supply competitive off-grid solar energy in Africa.
This partnership will take the initial form of a joint venture – ZECI – in Ivory Coast. This first joint venture aims to supply power to nearly 2 million people in Ivory Coast by year 2020, with plans to rapidly extend the partnership’s initiatives to other countries in the region.
Within the scope of this joint venture, ZECI, EDF and Off Grid Electric install and maintain solar kits for rural and peri-urban households.
These individual kits include solar panels, which are easy to install, along with batteries for storing energy. Payment can be made through the simple use of a mobile phone. Customers have therefore access to lighting and are able to power a suite of energy-efficient household appliances including television sets, radios, fans and mobile phone chargers.
1000 customers have already choosen Zeci!
Back to top