IFC’s Lighting Pakistan Co-Hosts a Conference on Solar Off-Grid Opportunities

Islamabad, Pakistan, March 14, 2018—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, joined forces with the Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC) and the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) today to host a conference highlighting the opportunities within the country’s growing off-grid solar industry to help address Pakistan’s critical energy deficit.
Minister for Power, Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari, made the keynote address at the event, which attracted more than 200 delegates from the private sector, government, rural support programs, donors, and other international organizations.
“It is time to nurture alternate energy by making systems more efficient and less bureaucratic, hence the private sector and distribution companies must join hands to promote affordable lighting solutions in the off-grid areas”, said Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari, Minister for Power. He appreciated IFC, PMIC and AEDB for arranging the conference which is a timely call.
World Bank Country Director Illango Patchamutu said: “Over 1 billion people live without electricity around the world. We are on the right path to achieving universal access to energy by 2030, but it’s vital that we do more as a group to help meet this target.”
The event included interactive sessions and panel discussions on the best ways to provide power to users at “the last-mile,” by building commercial supply chains and raising consumer awareness.
Nadeem Siddiqui, IFC’s Country Manager for Pakistan, highlighted the importance of “engaging the private sector to help reduce the energy access gap, which presents a large and attractive business opportunity until now overlooked in Pakistan.”
Yasir Ashfaq, CEO of PMIC, said the company was committed to delivering sustainable financial services. “Providing solar home solutions to people at the bottom of the pyramid is our priority. We are confident our partnership with KfW- a German government-owned development bank and IFC on solar solutions will help resolve some of the problems resulting from the lack of energy access, and boost economic and social inclusion for marginalized Pakistanis.”

The conference also emphasized the need for key stakeholders to work together to maximize impact, and the importance of technology to reach remote rural communities with no access to electricity.
Amjad Ali Awan, CEO of AEDB, said: “We can create major transformations in such communities by deploying off-grid renewable energy in their backyards. Solar lighting solutions provide an affordable and sustainable way of providing access to electricity for millions of people.”
IFC’s Lighting Pakistan program is part of IFC’s global strategy to support the development of sustainable energy markets. The program works with the private sector to remove market entry barriers, provide market intelligence, foster linkages and raise consumer awareness on modern solar lighting products and systems.

About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit http://www.ifc.org

About PMIC
Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company Limited (PMIC) is registered as an Investment Finance Company under NBFCs regulations with Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. It is setup jointly by, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Department for International Development (DFID) through Karandaaz Pakistan and the German Development Bank (KFW) to catalyze and lead the next phase of growth in the microfinance sector of Pakistan.For more information, visit http://pmic.pk

About AEDB
Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) is the sole representing agency of the Federal Government that was established in May 2003 with the main objective to facilitate, promote and encourage development of Renewable Energy in Pakistan and with a mission to introduce Alternative and Renewable Energies (AREs) at an accelerated rate. The administrative control of AEDB was transferred to Ministry of Water and Power in 2006. The Government of Pakistan has tasked the AEDB to ensure 5% of total national power generation capacity to be generated through renewable energy technologies by the year 2030. In addition, under the remote village electrification program, AEDB has been directed to electrify 7,874 remote villages in Sindh and Balochistan provinces through ARE technologies. For more details, visit http://www.aedb.org

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