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On the road to Nigeria ... with one foot in Africa's most dynamic economy

To illustrate Africa's growth prospects, it is actually enough to look at the population development: the number of inhabitants doubles every 20 years, and in 2044 Nigeria alone will have more people than Europe. If you want to profit from this development, you should produce something that is needed locally and that can replace expensive exports, advises Ulrich Rieger, one of the most prominent Africa experts in German economic policy. Population growth automatically increases the demand for everyday goods such as food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Energy is of course also part of this.

Over the past 24 months, the EWIA team has travelled to Nigeria several times to prepare for market entry into Africa's most dynamic economy. The fact that Africa is a continent with 54 different countries becomes clear as soon as you arrive in Lagos, the vibrant metropolis with 16 million inhabitants is the second largest city and home to Africa's largest harbour, among other things. Lagos is the economic heart of Nigeria and an important trade and financial hub. The city attracts business travellers from all over the world and offers numerous opportunities for trade and investment - this is reflected in the impressive skyline as well as in the chaotic hustle and bustle on the streets of the megacity. Last but not least, Nigeria also has its finger on the cultural pulse: Afrobeat, a music genre that now dominates the world, originated here.

And the topic of ‘business’ is deeply rooted in the Nigerian mindset. When it comes to business, people are quick to get down to business - a tangible difference between the country and many of its immediate neighbours in West Africa. The pace is simply faster. Nevertheless, and despite the abundance of raw materials, the ‘powerhouse’ Nigeria also suffers from the typical African problem of unreliable and very expensive electricity supply.

Liberalisation of the electricity market facilitates market entry for solar energy

To counter this obstacle to growth, the country is showing a different face here too:

The liberalisation of the electricity market makes it much easier for us to enter the market in Nigeria compared to other African countries. Potential customers do not have to invest in a plant in order to supply themselves with electricity. They simply conclude purchase agreements - so-called Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). The unreliable power supply from the grid and the high diesel prices for the gensets that have to be used are motivating the enterprising and price-sensitive Nigerians to actively look for alternatives.

After collecting a number of project leads as part of a roadshow last year and also launching the first pilot projects with a chain of vehicle testing stations, we are now about to start the first major installations of PV systems. More on this shortly.


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