EDF, IFC and the Republic of Cameroon sign final and binding agreements for the construction of the Nachtigal hydroelectric dam in Cameroon.

Publish on 08/11/2018

On the 8th of November 2018, EDF, one of the world’s leading electricity companies, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Republic of Cameroon signed final and binding agreements for the construction of the Nachtigal hydropower plant.
The project entails the design and construction of a 420-MW hydropower project on the Sanaga river near the Nachtigal Falls, located 65 km to the north-east of aoundé, as well as the operation of this facility for a period of 35 years. It also includes the construction of a 50-km power transmission line. The project will be owned and operated by NHPC (Nachtigal Hydro Power Company), currently owned by EDF (40%), IFC (30%) and the Republic of Cameroon (30%). A cornerstone of Cameroon’s electricity sector development plan, Nachtigal is a national priority which will enhance the reliability of the country’s power system. Its expected power generation will cover 30% of the country’s electricity demand, amounting to an annual output of nearly 3TWh. The power generated by the project will be sold to the grid operator via a Power Purchase Agreement at a competitive tariff, thereby benefitting Cameroonian consumers. The project will generate substantial economic benefits: up to 1,500 direct jobs during peak construction periods, of which 65% will be locally sourced within a 65-km radius of the construction site. This signing marks the conclusion of all key agreements and contracts relating to the construction, operation, and financing of the infrastructure. This was achieved thanks to complementary skills of the three shareholders: EDF’s unparalleled technical capabilities in hydro power schemes, IFC’s sector knowledge and structuring capabilities for large infrastructure projects in Emerging Markets, and the Government of Cameroon’s support for the development of a strategic asset for the country.

The project’s expected total cost is €1.2 billion. Shareholders’ equity will fund a quarter of the project cost while the rest will be funded by lenders. The lender group coordinated by IFC includes 11 development finance institutions and 4 local commercial banks. IFC was involved as a partner at an early stage to help develop the project through IFC InfraVentures and is the global coordinator of the financing package. Nachtigal will be the largest hydropower project ever built in Africa through project finance, a funding scheme that has already proven effective in the renewables sector, and the largest hydropower project supported by the World Bank Group in Africa. With 430 hydroelectric operations around the world, the EDF Group undertakes to apply the highest standards of safety as well as social and environmental responsibility.

Along with the construction of the dam, there will also be a regional socio-economic development programme, built around initiatives identified through consultations with local stakeholders. EDF will be harnessing its experience from the Nam Theun 2 dam project in Laos where it provided socio-economic support, recently recognized by independent experts.Construction will begin by the end of 2018, when the financial closing is completed.
The dam is due to be commissioned in 2023.

Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF Chairman and Chief Executive Officer: “EDF is proud that the state Cameroun has recognized EDF’s expertise as a standard-bearer hydropower company by entrusting us with this low-carbon project that is low-carbon, key to the country’s development and compliant with the highest standards of social and
environmental responsibility. The signing of these agreements will strengthen the Group’s position in Africa, a continent where we have been active for more than 50 years and which is of strategic importance for expanding our business. The Nachtigal project is a contributor to two key objectives of our Cap 2030 strategy: tripling our share of business outside Europe and doubling our renewable capacities worldwide by 2030.”

Marianne Laigneau, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice President in charge of International Division: "It's the first of its kind (in Africa) for EDF to have all these industrial roles together: to design, negotiate, piloting the project, building, operating and maintenance."

Valérie Levkov, Senior VP Africa & Middle East:"With the signing of the Nachtigal project, EDF writes a new page of its history in Africa. This major step was achieved thanks to the complementarity of our CIH and ID teams ; in addition to their recognized technical expertise they have been able to demonstrate an energy and a permanent commitment".

BBOXX and EDF team up to develop off-grid energy solutions in Togo

Publish on 26/10/2018

  • EDF becomes joint shareholder in BBOXX Togo with a 50% stake
  • The partnership aims to accelerate the delivery of the Government of Togo’s rural electrification plan
  • The ‘BBOXX with EDF’ tie up is the first step in a broader partnership, with plans to expand the joint venture into other countries in Africa

On Friday 26 October 2018, BBOXX, a next generation utility company, and EDF, the world’s leading electricity company, signed an agreement to develop and market solutions for access to off-grid electricity in Togo. The agreement was signed in Lomé, in the presence of the President of the Togolese Republic, H.E. Faure Gnassignabé.
BBOXX and EDF will provide a reliable, affordable and CO2-free contribution to the Government’s electrification programme, known as ‘CIZO’, which aims to supply over five hundred thousand people with solar home systems by 2030.

Expertise of the off-grid market leaders in Africa

BBOXX has been operating in the Togolese market since 2017. A key partner in the CIZO programme, BBOXX has already supplied electricity to 26,000 Togolese. The company has opened around 20 shops and directly employs around 100 people. The BBOXX solar home systems include solar panels supplied with batteries to store electricity and payable with mobile money. The systems allow customers to power domestic appliances, such as TVs, radios, fans and mobile telephone chargers.

Under the terms of the agreement, EDF holds a 50% stake in BBOXX Togo. In addition to the investment required to speed up deployment of the solar home systems, the EDF Group will also provide its technical know-how to improve battery performance. The EDF Group has been actively strengthening this area of expertise as part of its Electricity Storage Plan, aiming to develop storage capacity of 10GW worldwide by 2035. EDF’s R&D department will also test and certify solar kit components.

EDF will bring its commercial resources and its experience in developing off-grid solutions in several African countries to the joint venture. A leader in the Ivory Coast, the EDF Group has just started operating in Ghana and has also embarked on the market of solar pump irrigation solutions for farmers in Kenya. The two partners are aiming for a market share of 35% in Togo by 2024 and are also planning to work together in other African countries.

Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and co-founder of BBOXX, commented, “Our latest deal with EDF symbolises the first stepping stone in a strong strategic partnership. It will see us work together to bring smart and sustainable energy solutions and other vital utilities and value-added services to the underserved. Working with global partners like EDF shows our commitment to scaling up, mobilising greater investment, generating meaningful impact and powering the economic development of some of the world’s least developed communities.”

Valerie Levkov, EDF’s Senior Vice-President in charge of Africa and Middle East stated: “By teaming up with BBOXX in Togo, the EDF Group has embarked on a new stage of development of its off-grid activities in Africa, which has been constantly speeded up since our Ivory Coast subsidiary, Zeci, was set up less than two years ago. We are proud to work with a partner like BBOXX, which shares our commitment to low carbon energies. The partnership that has just been set up fits in with the EDF strategy CAP 2030, whose main purpose is to triple our activities outside Europe”.

EDF and Gibb become partners in GIBB Power, an engineering company specialising in the energy sector

Publish on 08/10/2018

On 8 October 2018, EDF, world’s leading electricity company, and GIBB, a major engineering player in Africa signed agreements for EDF to invest in GIBB Power, a subsidiary company of GIBB Engineering and Architecture specialising in engineering in the energy sector.
By building on the skills of GIBB’s energy division and on EDF’s multi-skill expertise, GIBB Power, which is owned 70 % by GIBB and 30% by EDF, aims to become a reference-engineering platform, specialising in supporting energy projects and offering solutions to the challenges of energy transition in Africa.
Sub Saharan Africa is facing a growing challenge to reconcile its increasing energy demand with the need to further reduce its carbon dioxide emissions. To support this transformation, the EDF Group and GIBB have decided to cooperate in several areas of engineering, both for public and private stakeholders:
  • Thermal Engineering, for instance in the decommissioning of coal-fired plants in South Africa: the country’s energy policy makes provisions for the closure of 12 GW of coal-fired stations between now and 2030.
  • Hydraulic Engineering, supporting hydropower projects, notably in Zambia and Mozambique, where the potential for hydropower represents a key energy resource for the Southern African Development Community region. 
  • Electricity transmission and distribution networks, to facilitate the integration of renewable energies, modernize and develop urban electricity networks as well as interconnections between countries
  • Solar and wind power supporting the rapid development of these energies throughout Africa.
GIBB Power will be supported by EDF engineering competences covering the entire value chain for energy projects, as well as by EDF subsidiaries that are already established in South Africa. GIBB has a wealth of knowledge spanning over 60 years in the design, planning and management of infrastructure projects in various sectors including Water, Power and Transport amongst others. Traditionally a South African company (its home market), GIBB has a presence in various countries on the continent
EDF has been active in South Africa for over 40 years and is known and recognized locally both for its historic cooperation with ESKOM and its investment in wind power and rural electrification projects. The synergy between EDF and GIBB’s expertise will pave the way to increasing four-fold their activities in engineering services in Africa. In addition, GIBB Power will enable EDF Group to identify, screen and develop greenfield projects in Africa.
Valérie Levkov, Senior VP for Africa, Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean at EDF stated: “Our investment in GIBB Power will be a catalyst for the development of EDF in Africa through low-carbon projects that are consistent with EDF’s Cap 2030 strategy. We are also proud to support South Africa and more widely southern Africa to meet its energy challenges, especially with a trusted, stand-out partner in the region.”
Richard Vries, Group Chief Executive of GIBB Holdings “In the past, GIBB has on a number of occasions actively partnered with EdF to deliver major projects. This investment in GIBB Power is therefore a natural progression of the relationship. GIBB power is now poised to deliver world class solutions to clients by bringing the necessary breadth and depth of technical skill across the full spectrum of the energy value chain”. 

EDF ramps up its business on Africa’s off-grid market by investing in a new range of products and in local skills

Publish on 16/07/2018

On Monday 16th of July, the EDF Group announced the launch of two major cooperation initiatives seeking to expand its range of off-grid solutions and to develop local skills for the installation of off-grid solar-powered kits.

EDF and SUNCULTURE are exploring a new segment of the off-grid market: a solar-powered irrigation system for small-scale farmers.The EDF Group is acquiring an interest* in the Kenyan start-up SunCulture, a technology company that designs and sells affordable solar-powered water pumps and customized irrigation systems, bundled with ongoing support for small-holder farmers. SunCulture’s flagship product "RainMaker" - an innovative, internet-connected solar water pump - is smart, mobile, easy to use and helps save water and fertilizer. Specifically designed for small-scale farming households, this system is a low-carbon alternative to motor-driven petrol pumps or manually operated pumps. RainMaker is designed to help smallholder farmers in underserved communities improve productivity and profitability.

EDF will support SunCulture in the large-scale roll-out of its solution in Kenya and will help the company in its endeavours in West Africa. In the longer term, EDF intends to support SunCulture by becoming its leading industrial shareholder. To this end, EDF has invested in convertible bonds issued by SunCulture.
EDF will provide SunCulture with hands-on experience in the sale and installation of off-grid solutions designed for residential customers, as well as with its knowledge of Central and West African markets. SunCulture will also benefit from EDF’s technical R&D expertise in the off-grid sector, where EDF will oversee its design choices and help to enhance product performance. EDF will also set up financing schemes in order to help farmers finance these solar-powered pumping systems.

With this agreement, EDF is expanding its off-grid range and gaining a foothold in another high-potential market segment. At present, 60% of Africa’s arable land has not been farmed and only 6% is currently irrigated.
EDF and Energy Generation have pledged to train women in the installation and maintenance of off-grid solar systems.

At the same time, EDF is signing a partnership agreement with the pan-African organisation Energy Generation, which is working to provide electricity to rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa by delivering entrepreneurship training to young people, with a focus on the energy sector. The agreement signed with EDF covers a training programme called “Woman and Solar Entrepreneurship”, which aims to train women in the installation and maintenance of off-grid solar-powered kits as well as in other aspects relating to entrepreneurship in this field. Thanks to its experience in the roll-out of off-grid solutions, EDF will help to design these training courses. Energy Generation will be responsible for the delivery of this training at training centres specifically geared towards the energy sector. Upon completion of the programme’s initial phase by late 2019, around 100 women in Togo, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana will have undergone this training.

Founded in 2016 in Lomé (Togo) by the young humanitarian Astria Fataki, Energy Generation is already partnering EDF as part of the EDF Pulse in Africa competition, the aim of which is to reveal and support innovative African talent with a view to boosting the continent’s energy growth (more info at

Marianne Laigneau, Senior Executive Vice-President in charge of the International Division: "These two new partnership agreements reflect the spirit in which EDF is expanding its business in Africa: working alongside local players and always doing its utmost to ensure that our projects benefit the economic fabric of those countries where the Group is active. Following the large-scale commercial roll-out of Zeci and the recent launch of Zegha, we are now getting ready to expand our off-grid range to other segments, starting with that of small-scale farmers".

Samir Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, SunCulture: "EDFs commitment to partnering with local companies to create lasting impact represents an important shift in the way multinationals are doing business in Africa. We’re excited about this partnership, which gives us the opportunity to work with EDF to increase rural household productivity across the continent."

Astria Fataki, President of Energy Generation: “We are particularly pleased to have signed this partnership agreement with EDF, which is totally aligned with our goals and vision. Thanks to this training programme, around one hundred women in Togo, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire will acquire the skills required for a future career that will provide them with better economic prospects. More importantly, they will also be trained to play an active role in their country’s energy transition”.

EDF, a key player in Africa’s off-grid sector:

African markets are major vectors of growth with unequalled economic and demographic expansion, resulting in growing energy requirements.
62% of Africa’s sub-Saharan population (600 million Africans) live in rural areas with limited access to the power grid. Off-Grid technology is an innovative solution that comes in addition to conventional grids, helping to address Africa’s energy challenges.
EDF is now selling off-grid kits for domestic use in two African countries:
• In Côte d’Ivoire via Zeci, a joint venture founded by EDF and the American start-up OGE. Zeci is leader on the Côte d’Ivoire market and employs over 400 locals for the sale and maintenance of solar-powered kits. Barely one year after its launch, Zeci had already sold 10 000 solar-powered kits.
• In Ghana, via Zegha, a joint venture founded by EDF, OGE and the Ghanaian CH Group. Zegha was launched in January 2018.
In both countries, the Group is seeking to capture a market share of approximately 20%.
Having operated in Africa for the past 50 years, the EDF Group has provided more than 500 000 people with access to electricity. For this purpose, the Group has set up rural connection providers in Senegal (ERA) and in South Africa (KES), which it continues to run. As a precursor to off-grid solutions, this experience has placed the EDF Group a step ahead and given it excellent market knowledge when it comes to the development of off-grid solutions.

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.
Back to top