Starting as an Independent Power Producer in Cote d’Ivoire

“Strategic plan  ‘Vision 2040’ adopted in 2011 with main objective for Cote d’Ivoire to become an industry-driven economy, united in its cultural diversity and democracy and open to the rest of world.”

~ President A.Ouattara

Yesterday we hosted one of our hugely successful monthly webinars and this month’s topic is about “Starting as an independent Power Producer in Cote d’Ivoire”. The guest host for this session was Mr. Toure Sultan Abdoul Karim, who is the Directory of Programming of Public Investments for the Ministry of Planning and Development, Cote d’Ivoire.

In today’s article, we will outline what was discussed.  If you are business owner looking to invest in Africa, this is very much for you.

The Cote d’Ivoire Government has an ambition to become an industry-driven economy that is open to the rest of world.

Cote d’Ivoire:

Cote d’Ivoire new energy policy has the following objectives:

Investments in the energy sector are at the centre of the strategy for Cote d’Ivoire to become an emerging market.

  • To generate sufficient electricity and demand side management
  • To increase installed capacity by approximately 150 MW each year
  • To diversify the generation mix, which currently depends heavily on domestic natural gas
  • To increase participation of independent power producers (IPPs)
  • To improve the institutional framework
  • To restore the financial viability of the energy sector – tariff adjustments and loss reduction

A new energy policy, adopted in 2013 aims to:

  • Increase renewable energy share in national energy mix from 1% in 2015 to 16% in 2030
  • Diversify energy production sources from 80 % fossil fuel and 20 % renewables in 2015, to 66 % fossil fuel and 34 % renewable in 2020
  • To 58 % fossil fuel and 42 % renewable energy in 2030

Foreign companies are invited  to participate via tender process submission and direct approach:

The Public Tender process:

Company independent project submission:

This procedure is mainly used for electrification projects.

In order for you to make a spontaneous proposal to the Ministry of Energy for a planned project, you will need to:

  • Submit a technical and financial offer to Management of the structure of the project
  • The offer will be assessed by the relevant authorities
  • Once approved, a discussion regarding possible clarification and or negotiations will be held
  • From here, a signature of approval by the authorities will mean your project has been approved

Cote d’Ivoire Investment Zones & VAT:

In order to boost investments, an attractive investment regime has been developed.

There are 3 investments zones regimes that have been created with benefits granted for each of them

  • In the investment phase, there is between 40-50% reduction in the amount of custom duties that are paid for equipment, materials as well as first batch of spare parts
  • There is also total exemption from VAT – see below:

Cote d’Ivoire’s Investors Protection:

There are sixteen specific guarantees when you invest in Cote d’Ivoire.  The key guarantees (by Law) we would like to highlight are:

  • You are offered the freedom to invest
  • You have equal rights
  • You have freedom to access foreign currencies
  • You have stability of benefits
  • You will not need to be nationalised and there is no risk of expropriation
  • Your private property is protected

To see full list of investment guarantees, see our full presentation here.

Thank you for your interest in Africa Business Venture, we welcome any questions or enquiries so please do not hesitate to contact us now.

SONIA GALAT

Co-Founder & CEO, ABV

Review of a Solar Project in Rural Cote d’Ivoire

Providing electricity to remote villages is one of the key objectives of the Government of Cote d’Ivoire using renewable energy to create mini-grids. One of the latest projects is the 7-solar hybrid mini-grid in the Zazan region.

We interviewed Azimut 360, the project manager company in charge of the installation of the mini-grids for all the villages.

 

The company got involved in the project through formulating a proposal following a call for proposals from Energy Facility II, a joint European and ACP countries program (African, Caribbean and Pacific countries) established in 2005, aiming at co-financing projects increasing access to modern and sustainable energy services for ACP countries. Thanks to their previous knowledge of running projects in Africa (The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Tchad, Mali, Angola and Morocco so far), they managed to get the funding for this project.

Although Azimut 360 faced a number of issues with the local partners,

Azimut360 advised that the key component for their success comes down to the quality and the role of the local partner. For this project, they collaborated with the NGO Akwaba (welcome in Ivorian) to which the responsibility of the social and economic aspect of the project was given. That being said, the organisation faced a number of issues with their local contacts but still managed to overcome any difficulty.

To facilitate the implementation of the project on the ground and better communication with locals, engineers sent to Cote d’Ivoire were both fluent in English and French. The project was financed as described below:

The total capacity for the 7 micro-grids is218,4 kWp. Batteries allow storage of energy for night use. Each installation has a generator that guarantees service if the weather conditions are unfavourable.In addition, 17200m of electrical network was deployed to provide subscribers and new public lighting. For each household, the electricity meters control and limit the electricity consumption.Thanks to the GbrekoKanian project, the 7 villages produce, distribute and consume their own energy

For each village, an association was created to manage the micro-grid. Each association involved the following local community representatives:

– A president,
– A book keeper,
– A representative of women,
– A representative of the youth
– A representative of the most senior members of the community

Such set up guarantees the involvement of the community and ensure the auto-management of the local micro-grids. The members of each association are composed of the subscribers to the grid network.

Additionally, a Federation grouping the 7 local associations has been created to strength and stimulate synergies amongst the 7 villages.In each village, a community “office” serving as a services hub for the village was created. Among the many benefits of the village for the local population, the various micro-grids provide electricity to:

• 698 households
• 6 schools
• A health centre
• 7 wheat mills
• 7 water pumps
• 336 street lights

In addition, the project created 11 jobs of technicians and new possibilities for the local youth with potential for development of local businesses.

Other contributions for local communities relate to public lighting, and women, in special concern, received major benefits from electrical water pumps.

For more information please click below:

Zanzan-Case-Study-2017-AZIMUT360

How to use your embassy to find projects to invest?

Finding a business opportunity to invest in Africa is not complicated, especially in the following fields: infrastructure development, energy, construction and telecoms. If you have no leads, hereunder is a list and best practices to find your new investment opportunity relying on the services provided by your national embassy.

Embassies are not only institutions aiming at providing administrative services for their expatriates, they are also mandated to develop commercial relationships with their host country.
In the past few years, the development of European, American and other Western diplomatic representations have increased across the continent.

In every major economic African country such as Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya (just to name a few), you will always find diplomatic services in charge of supporting local trade development. In some cases, secondary-tier countries will be covered through a central diplomatic representation based on a major capital city serving all the sub-region they are assigned to.
Using the services of an embassy can be a lengthy process and sometimes frustrating. Nevertheless, they shall be your first entry point into a new market territory.

How to best utilize the services of your embassy to find projects for your investments?

Reach out to your embassy

The first step is to contact your embassy. You will be then contacted either by the appropriate local service of the embassy or the headquarter of the services in charge of foreign trade in your national country.
Contacting foreign embassies is a great source of information for many local African businesses and project owners and a way to find suitable business partners. Local business owners and diplomats will very often gravitate in the same circle and events. Therefore, it is worth it to make yourself known by the services of your embassy and potentially find your next partner.

Register for business listings

Most embassies maintain a registry of the companies willing to export their services locally. It is a great way to be known by the local market as this list might be shared with other local organisations (Foreign trade agencies for example) and might opened new market opportunities for you.
Embassies have many cooperation agreements with services of the host country in charge of welcoming foreign investors but also foreign trade representations. If your embassy is not able to perform certain services, it will rely on their network of partners to be able to support you. Services will very often come at a cost.

Hereunder is a list of useful links to find your local embassies in Africa:

Guide of Foreign embassies in Africa: https://www.africaguide.com/embassy.htm
US Embassy: https://www.usembassy.gov/
British embassies: http://www.british-consulate.org/british-embassies-in-africa.html

Be informed of local conferences
Major local business conferences will be part of your embassy’s agenda. One simple thing to do is simply asking whether or not your embassy will bring foreign companies as part of its delegation to the event. If the conference is not providing any matchmaking services, your embassy will certainly be able to help.

Attend events organised by your embassy
If you have the opportunity, attend events and other networking opportunities organised both in the country you are targeting but also in your national country by the services in charge of foreign trade.

 

In general, view your embassy as the best place to find relevant information. They will know everything about the market you are targeting and will be able to guide you.