About twenty out of 54 finalists who entered the Development Marketplace Grant Competition (DMGC) would be awarded 200,000 dollars each at the first Lighting Africa 2008 Global Business Conference, scheduled for Accra from May 6 – 7, this year.

The DMGC is a programme which seeks to award up to $200,000 each to about 15 to 20 finalists for presenting the most innovative and viable ideas for designing, developing, and delivering modern off-grid lighting products and services to sub-Saharan Africa.

In a statement to the Ghana News Agency by International Finance Corporation (IFC), organisers of the First Lighting Africa Global Business Conference and Development Marketplace Grant competition on Tuesday, 400 proposals from 54 countries, including 38 African countries, were received in the first round, creating an extremely competitive applicant pool.

Of the 54 finalists in the current second stage of the competition, about 15 to 20 winners will be selected and announced after final proposals have been presented to an international panel of jurors during the Lighting Africa 2008 Global Business Conference.

The IFC statement explained that based on the premise that a sustainable market is one that grows the local economy the competition required that each project team include a partner organization based and operating in Africa.

On the Lighting Africa Conference and Development Market Place Competition for Off-grid Lighting in Africa: Lighting Africa 2008; seeks to bring together global players from the lighting industry, international and domestic financial institutions.

Others are private developers, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and international and bilateral development agencies.

The event is, unequivocally, a defining moment for all who are interested in shaping the off-grid lighting market in Africa.

Source: GNA