The World Bank Group invites the media to attend Lighting Africa 2008, the 1st Global Business Conference for Off-Grid Lighting in Africa, on May 5-8, 2008. The event will take place at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana. Lighting Africa is a joint IFC and World Bank initiative that seeks to provide modern lighting by 2030 to the 250 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa who lack access to electricity.
Journalists and reporters will be able to meet and interview CEOs, industry representatives, Bank Group officials, and top innovators in the field. Winners of the Bank Groups 2008 global lighting competition will be announced and granted up to $200,000 for their ideas on design and delivery of innovative, low-cost products that can provide high-quality, non-fossil lighting to low-income consumers.
The program will include a visit to an off-grid community to see up-close the need for better lighting solutions, and the impact modern lighting can have on individual lives. The Lighting Africa project was launched in September 2007 to help develop a robust off-grid lighting market in the region. The conference aims to:
- Increase awareness of the market opportunities for lighting products and services
- Link global investors with local suppliers and service providers
- Promote networking among entrepreneurs
- Share market intelligence and model business structures for lighting projects
- Showcase innovative products and promote business development
More than 300 participants are expected, bringing together a diverse array of global players, including representatives of the global lighting industry, international financial institutions, private developers, governments, and civil society.