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Congratulations B. Roger Ouedraogo!

Congratulations B. Roger Ouedraogo!

Burkina Faso’s Project Manager wants to advance equity through minigrids.

Each month, the Africa Minigrids Program (AMP) spotlights an individual from one of the participating countries who has been working tirelessly to advance the initiative at the regional or national level. 

We connected with March’s Champion of the Month, B. Roger Ouedraogo, who works with the Burkinabè Rural Electrification Agency (ABER) to implement AMP Burkina Faso.

Q: What’s your story—how did you end up working in the clean energy industry?

A: I hold a Master’s degree in Economic Affairs (Master 2, option: economics and planning) from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration et de Magistrature (ENAM) in Ouagadougou and a Master’s degree (BAC + 4) in Science and Technology, option: Biological Sciences, from the Université Joseph KI ZERBO in Ouagadougou.

My passion and infatuation for the energy sector, specifically for renewable energy, began in 2016. During this period, I served in the Department of Infrastructure, Mines and Energy of the Prime Ministry of Burkina Faso and then in the Ministry of Energy as Director of the Coordination of Energy Projects and Programs (DCPP). I ensured the coordination of the Ministry’s teams for the formulation of energy projects while monitoring and evaluating energy projects and programs under implementation. In 2023, I was seconded to the Burkinabè Rural Electrification Agency (ABER) to coordinate the Africa Minigrids Program.

Q: Briefly describe your role and involvement with AMP so far.

A: As coordinator of the national AMP project, my role is to ensure the general, day-to-day management and coordination of project activities, including mobilization of all project inputs and supervision of project staff, consultants, and subcontractors. I also ensure the full participation of the responsible parties (DGE, ECREEE, UNCDF, ANEREE, ABNORM) and the effective involvement of the direct beneficiaries in AMP’s implementation process.

Q: What excites you most about the potential of AMP, specifically in your country? 

A: In 2022, a study carried out in Burkina Faso with the support of the World Bank as part of the development of the Integrated Master Plan “generation – transmission – distribution and rural electrification 2020 – 2040”,  identified over 700 rural localities far from the National Interconnected Network (RNI) that minigrids should electrify. My enthusiasm is that AMP is a great opportunity for my country because it has provided the Government of Burkina Faso with a strategic planning tool through the development of a national rural electrification strategy (2024 – 2028). This takes into account the development and promotion of minigrids for off-grid localities, with an operational action plan for 2024 – 2026.

AMP will also enable Burkina Faso to clean up and strengthen the regulatory framework for rural electrification. More specifically, off-grid electrification, through the ongoing review and adoption of specific regulations for rural electrification, with particular emphasis on minigrids (which are technological options highly suited to Burkina Faso’s specific case).

Lastly, AMP will enable Burkina Faso to test models for implementing minigrids involving the private sector through the implementation of pilot projects (construction of 3 new green minigrids, reinforcement of 6 other green minigrids and superposition of uses, etc.).

Q: What is one thing you want people to know about minigrids and access to electricity?

A: In Burkina Faso, the electricity coverage rate was 50% in 2022, according to data from the Ministry of Energy’s statistical yearbook. This means that there are many rural localities not covered by the national interconnected grid (over 700 localities), hence the disparity in access to electricity between rural areas (5.49%) and urban areas (86%).

For me, minigrids are an opportunity for the government of Burkina Faso to correct an injustice by enabling our hard-working people living in off-grid localities to have access to modern energy services that are high-quality, sustainable and cost-effective for their socio-economic development. Minigrids enable all social classes, especially women and young people, wherever they may be, near or far from the power grid, to remain in their locality and carry out income-generating activities or improve their productivity (farming, milling, etc.).