<i>By IISD Reporting Services</i>

The newsletter announces the start of a new Lighting Africa national program in Liberia, implemented by the Rural Renewable Energy Agency (RREA) with financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which seeks to create commercial markets for off-grid lighting. The program will initially subsidize imported products and provide financial support to retailers to enter the off-grid lighting market. The program will also develop a lantern exchange initiative to replace kerosene lamps.

The newsletter also includes an article on the provision of 6,000 solar panels and kits to 60% of the families in the Melkadida camp at the Somali/Ethiopian border, and the results of a survey of the impact of the distribution of 2,280 solar-powered lighting products to flood victims in six regions in Namibia in July and August 2011. Both articles show that the clean energy technologies provided great benefits to recipients, including increased work and study time, as well as security, especially for women and girls.

The newsletter also discusses new products that have passed the Lighting Africa quality test; energy awards; the G20 Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation competition; and new Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) Green Power for Mobile publications.

Lighting Africa is a joint International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World Bank program that seeks to accelerate the development of commercial off-grid lighting markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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