Off-grid lighting conference in Dubai draws 450 delegates

Grant Shapps, UK minister of state for international development, speaks at the event.

Grant Shapps, UK minister of state for international development, speaks at the event.

The 4th International Off-Grid Lighting Conference and Exhibition is taking place at the Dubai World Trade Center.

The four-day event brings together more than 450 delegates from around the world.

Since the first edition of the conference in Ghana in 2008, this biennial event has grown significantly, alongside the industry it supports.

This year it helps to mark UNESCO’s International Year of Light, and with the COP 21 Climate Summit in Paris weeks away, a focused debate around how to deliver modern clean energy for over 1.3 billion people without access to electricity has never been more critical.

At the opening press conference, key figures from the solar lighting and household electrification industry spoke on challenges facing the fast-growing sector.

They were joined by Grant Shapps, UK minister of state for International Development who introduced a new campaign, ‘Energy Africa’, launched recently by the British government to develop the energy sector and bring about sustainable economic growth.

‘Energy Africa’ will help Africa to achieve universal energy access by 2030. Currently, 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are without electricity access — 70 percent of the population.

Russell Sturm, global head of energy access, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, noted: “The remarkable growth of this new industry shows the power of the private sector to achieve development impacts at scale.


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