Burkina Faso

A Focus on Rural Areas

While only 3% of the rural population in Burkina Faso is connected to the electric grid – this is actually more than double the 1.4% that were connected a couple of years ago. The Government of Burkina Faso continues to make strides in expanding the distribution network of the electric grid to rural areas as well as improving the local capacity.

Nonetheless, off-grid products often offer a quicker and more affordable option to provide modern lighting and energy services to a rural population – something that the Government of Burkina Faso recognizes, and is working together with Lighting Africa to support.

Statistics & Our Impact (July 2014 - June 2018)



Per Capita GNI



Electricity Access Rate










People Impacted 1



Quality-verified products sold



GHG Emissions Avoided


Thousand Tons



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Early Support for Off-Grid Solutions

With support from the government, momentum of the off-grid solar lighting and energy market in Burkina Faso has been steadily growing over the past decade.

  • In 2009 the “Une lampe pour l’Afrique” project, aimed at distributing solar lamps among schools, was launched by the Taiwanese Development Cooperation;
  • The 2013 budget law introduced a cut to the import tax and VAT for the importation and sale of solar energy products, lowering the cost to distributors and end-users alike;
  • Lighting Africa conducted a market assessment study in 2013 that mapped existing supply chains and distribution models for solar lighting products, as well as a study that analyzed willingness to pay for these products.

Identifying challenges

Our 2013 studies found challenges related to the large scale distribution of off-grid solar products in Burkina Faso, particularly to the most rural areas. In addition, a lack of awareness of the benefits of solar lamps was found to be prevalent, as were difficulties in accessing the finance to pay for solar products – particularly for better-quality products. We set out to determine the best way to address these challenges, through local consultations with distributors, retailers, and end-users.

Projects to Promote Energy Access via Off-Grid

Lighting Africa is currently supporting improved access to off-grid solar products in Burkina Faso through two World Bank Projects: Projet d’Accès au Secteur de l’Electricité (PASEL, Access to Electricity Project) and through the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP), of which Burkina Faso is one of 19 targeted countries.


PASEL contains a $1.5 million Lighting Africa sub-component dedicated wholly to decentralized energy access as part of a wider World Bank Electricity Sector Support Project.

As part of this component, partnerships with local distributors have been established, and a lantern library initiative at rural schools is currently undergoing. To date, a total of 239 schools have benefited from this initiative in 8 regions of Burkina Faso and 161 additional schools will be reached in 2018.  A consumer education campaign focused on energy efficiency and off-grid solar lamps meeting Lighting Global standards is also being prepared in collaboration with the Government of Burkina Faso.


The Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) will aim to increase electricity access to households, businesses, and communities through modern off-grid electrification in the 15 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo) as well as Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, and Mauritania.

Lighting Africa will support ROGEP by working with both the governments and the private sector to make quality-verified off-grid solar lighting and energy products more readily available in West Africa. We will work closely with the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), ROGEP’s implementing agency, to draw new actors to the market, and support existing players in growing their sales.

You can read more about ROGEP here.


Page last updated January 2018 

Impact data last updated November 2018