ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.


ICLEI World Secretariat
Kaiser-Friedrich-Str. 7
53113 Bonn

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.

ICLEI Regional Secretariats and country offices

Enabling African Cities for Transformative Energy Access (ENACT)

What we are doing

It is estimated that over 70% of Africa’s urban population live in informal settlements. In the context of this rapid growth and despite a far better urban electrification rate compared to rural electrification rates, urban dwellers in Africa still, by and large, fall behind the other urban population in terms of access to modern forms of energy, as is the case with other areas of service delivery. The lack of access to modern forms of energy inhibits the growth of the economies of these urban centres, especially in informal settlements where energy access is lowest. There is a strong case that energy access is not resolved by creating connections alone, but that the quality of the service and delivery methods also are key in creating impact for the end-user. Historically, most national governments have held the mandate for centralised energy systems when utility scale electricity was viewed as the prime solution for energy access. Now, with decentralised energy solutions opening new pathways for energy access, local governments are responsible for creating an enabling environment for energy access, especially in informal urban areas. This revolution in energy technologies is taking place at the same time as many governments in Africa are devolving more powers to local governments. However, local governments in Sub-Saharan Africa are not yet ready to take hold of these energy access opportunities due to a lack of capacity for energy data collection and planning and the need to develop stronger partnerships with the private sector.

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How we are tracking

2 City Energy Profiles 2 Capacity Needs Assessments 2 Public Finance Proposals 12 Trainings workshops 5 Case studies 2 Energy Access Scenario and Pathway Report Toolkit for local government energy access planning 2 Multi-level governance dialogues 3-4 clean cooking and lighting models implemented 3 - 4 Energy access financing schemes 2,450 households, 1,300 businesses, Energy access products deployed 2 peer-to-peer exchanges 2 policy brief concept notes 3 webinars

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What we are achieving

The ENACT project aims to create a conducive enabling environment to improve energy security in Africa (more specifically Uganda and Sierra Leone)’s urban areas with focus on the urban poor, by introducing market-led interventions for energy access. Through this project, ICLEI Africa’s team will contribute to creating suitable conditions for local governments to engage with the private sector in planning and delivering sustainable energy services to households and social institutions – for both cooking and lighting –for the urban poor living in informal settlements. This will be done through three main pillars: • Capacity building of local governments in urban energy data collection and planning • Private sector involvement to test and implement financing and business models for improved delivery of clean energy interventions, and • Knowledge dissemination to share lessons for scale-up and replication in urban areas across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Energy 4 Impact - E4I, The Carbon Trust,

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Related publications

Benchmarking energy access: Case studies from five informal settlements in the global south
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