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Project for the economic autonomy of rural communities through the productive use of renewable energy

The challenge

Today, the Ivory Coast is struggling to meet its energy needs. This is manifested, for example, by frequent load shedding and shortages of domestic gas. These facts show that the country can no longer rely solely on fossil fuels to ensure that everyone has a secure energy supply. However, the Ivory Coast has no clear national energy policy that takes into account both the potential of renewable energy and the needs of the population, particularly in rural areas. In fact, the country lacks a real plan for the broad dissemination of renewable energies, and this is reflected in the absence of a regulatory framework including incentives for investment in this sector.

The goal

To improve the incomes of rural communities and credit and savings associations (CSAs) through the implementation of income generating activities (IGAs) using renewable photovoltaic power for productive purposes and by creating a financial product through a microfinance institution to procure solar power systems for productive use by the CSAs.

Required actions:

  1. Increase the capacities of 20 CSAs regarding the use and maintenance of 20 photovoltaic systems to facilitate the implementation of IGAs
  2. Develop a sustainable financial mechanism to facilitate the acquisition of 20 photovoltaic systems to implement IGAs
  3. Ensure personal supervision of 20 IGAs to guarantee a good rate of credit repayment
  4. Ensure the sustainability of the project by expanding cooperation with equipment suppliers and the training of target groups on the use, maintenance and repair of the equipment

Our partner

CARE International is a leading non-governmental organisation in the humanitarian and development sector. CARE seeks to build a world of hope, tolerance and social justice, where poverty has been eradicated and people live in dignity and security. CARE is active in 100 countries around the world, and operates poverty alleviation programmes and provides vital assistance to people in need.

Advans Côte d’Ivoire is a financial institution that has been present on the Ivory Coast market since 2012. Advans prioritises customer satisfaction and advocates the financial inclusion of disadvantaged populations.


CARE will build on CSAs established under the W4C, COCOALIFE and PROSPER projects. These are functional and ongoing CARE projects, all using the CSA model as a channel for the economic empowerment of women and rural communities. CSAs are autonomous groups of 15 to 30 people who meet regularly to provide their members with a way to save their money, access loans and obtain some form of social insurance. The aim is to support CSAs in becoming a foundation for the financial inclusion of the poorest people in communities. The CSA programme therefore includes joining up with formal financial institutions to deepen the financial inclusion of the poor and of those living on irregular incomes.

CSAs carry out IGAs under the supervision of CARE project teams to assist their credit and savings activities and therefore boost their income. These activities are identified on the basis of the area’s economic potential and are supported by CARE during implementation.

CARE also applies to a microfinance institution (Advans) for the provision of credit to finance business plans following the appropriate analysis and validation. Similarly, CARE requests GPE/GIZ to consolidate and deposit a guarantee fund with Advans for one third of the amount of the credit and will define the conditions of management and use of these funds by mutual tripartite agreement.

The aim of CARE is therefore to directly reach 20 CSAs with 500 members, 80% of whom are women, who will benefit from credit of approximately €64,615 (42,000,000 CFA francs) for the purchase of 20 photovoltaic systems for setting up income-generating activities.