Sustainable energy and digital solutions for financial inclusion and job creation in developing countries

Many remote and rural areas in developing countries still remain today without access to electricity – a reality that has a huge impact not only on their economic growth, but also on meeting the population’s human basic needs. And in those cases where access is provided, electricity might not be available at an affordable cost or in a sustainable and reliable way. Therefore, achieving universal energy access by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 7, is considered an important driving force to alleviate poverty, improve quality of live - especially for the most vulnerable - and ensure a sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Nowadays, decentralized energy solutions - reaching also those that the main grid cannot serve - combined with digital technologies such as mobile-payments or distributed ledger technology can revolutionise the way we think about energy access, productive uses of energy, job creation and financial inclusion by offering solutions that are innovative and increasingly viable, both from a technical and financial point of view.

Having in mind potential cost-reduction for the services provided, services could for instance, be provided in a bundle – e.g.: electricity access, internet connectivity and other services, such as water-pumping, water-purification solutions or common refrigeration solutions for agro-businesses.

By bringing together political and institutional actors, representatives of the industry and the civil society, this session explores, inter alia, the following aspects:

  • Which are the digital solutions that have a potential to facilitate the deployment of micro- and mini-grids in developing countries?
  • Which are the business models based on renewable generation, digital solutions and focusing on productive uses that can ensure financial viability?
  • Which are the innovative financing mechanisms that can respond to these emerging business models?