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Project milestones

Policy and Standards Development

  • In a major step to prevent the countries in the East and Southern African region from being flooded by inefficient, low-quality lighting products, Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for lighting products was adopted by the respective standards bodies in SADC in April 2021 (SADC), and in December 2022 (EAC). The adoption of the MEPS also contributes significantly to strengthening regional and inter-regional trade and accelerating the energy and climate transition. The MEPS for lighting have already been adopted at national level by Eswatini, Namibia and Rwanda, with initiatives for national adoption under way in various other EAC and SADC countries. The development of regional MEPS for cooling (jointly with E4A) has reached an advanced stage 

  • Regional Technical Committees were established, and a regional framework, strategy and action plan have been developed to assist EAC and SADC member countries in the implementation of EELA standards and policies. Additionally, the EELA project is presenting national stakeholder workshops in member states to assist them in the implementation and enforcement of the MEPS.

  • The project is also supporting the development of a regional energy policy for the EAC region. 

Capacity Strenghtening

  • The EELA e-learning platform ( with its holistic set of capacity building activities was established as a mechanism to facilitate building critical EELA-related capacity in the region. The first two modules (Introduction to EELA, and Lighting) are open to all stakeholders, and modules 3, 4 and 5 (on Cooling, Productive use of energy, and Market development) are currently under development. The platform will also be used for guided training of Change Agents to assist in accelerating the transition to energy efficient lighting and appliances, in collaboration with Kafue Gorge Regional Training Centre (KGRTC).

  • Regional reference laboratories in Zambia, Uganda and Mozambique were strengthened through training and the procurement of equipment to test lighting products and support regional market compliance. In addition, portable lighting test equipment was purchased for each of the 21 member states to facilitate market surveillance and conformity checks. 

  • Three market studies and supply chain analyses were carried out, namely on lighting, cooling (in collaboration with UNEP), and productive use equipment (PUE). The PUE study highlighted the need for an EELA off-grid PUE component. 

Business support and Market development

  • A private sector strategy was developed for the EAC and SADC region, followed by the launch of the EELA Technical Assistance and Co-financing Facility ( The first eight projects have already been selected for support through a call for expressions of interest, many of them the first Energy Service business models in their respective countries. For co-financing, they are Green Impact Technologies, Icopower Kenya Ltd, Zuwa Energy Ltd (Malawi), ERE Ltd (Rwanda), STOP Ltd (Rwanda) and AG Energies. The Facility is also providing technical assistance to  St. Francis Referral Hospital, and Lugala Lutheran Hospital. 

  • In addition, a number of holistic information sessions were presented to raise awareness of the business opportunities. 

Communication and Awareness raising

  • The EELA website was launched as a resource for information, tools and guidelines to support countries in advancing in the transition to energy efficient appliances.

  • A series of webinars were hosted on key EELA topics, with new topics being added on an ongoing basis. The webinars remain accessible on the EELA website. 

  • The project hosts an annual Stakeholder Forum, bringing together key stakeholders from the energy sector in East and Southern Africa, the most recent of which took place in March this year in Nairobi, Kenya. Attended by more than 150 in-person and online representatives from governments, the private sector, donors, financial institutions and other energy sector actors from 20 countries, this highly successful event featured an exciting array of key sessions and respected speakers on topics of major significance to the energy efficient lighting and appliances landscape in East and Southern Africa.

  • The 2023 Forum also saw the launch of the EELA Champion Awards, recognizing outstanding leadership, commitment and achievements by countries, institutions and individuals to promote EELA in EAC and SADC.

Regional harmonised MEPS have been developed and adopted in SADC and EAC for general, service and off-grid lighting,a process supported by the EELA project through the Regional Technical Committees, while the MEPS process for refrigerators and air-conditioners is well under way (in collaboration with U4E).
Market assessment and supply chain analysis have been conducted on productive use appliances in both the EAC and SADC regions, and will guide EELA project interventions in this area.

EELA e-Learning platform launched with two modules already online: a general module on markets for energy efficient lighting and appliances, and an in-depth module on Lighting. Collaboration with the Kafue Gorge Regional Training Centre in Zambia is being established to implement guided EELA training cycles.

The regional energy efficiency policy for the EAC region is under development, with support of the EELA project. The policy will provide an important regional energy efficiency framework for the region, including targets for energy efficient appliances.

Regional Reference Laboratories are being capacitate (one in EAC and two in SADC) through training and procurement of laboratory equipment to test lighting products and strengthen compliance in regional market.

The EELA Facility was launched in 2021 to support the implementation of projects in EAC and SADC countries using innovative delivery methods for energy efficient services and products, such as those provided by energy service companies (ESCOs). The Facility was also open to manufacturers wanting to upgrade their processes to manufacture products that meet MEPS.

Thirty-five applications were received covering various sectors, technologies, and energy service business models from EAC and SADC companies. Eight applicants have qualified and are receiving technical assistance or co-financing support to implement their projects.

Private sector engagement strategy for EELA was the basis for the Facility, and guidelines for energy service business models were developed and widely disseminated among EAC and SADC stakeholders.

Regional Compliance Framework was developed, a strategy and action plan to assist Member States to effectively implement and enforce regionally harmonized energy efficiency policy measures and protect EAC and SADC markets from non-compliant and low-quality products. The Framework includes an EELA gender mainstreaming strategy.

The EELA webinar series was established with one webinar being hosted per quarter for knowledge sharing among member states on EELA related topics. International experts are also invited to present case studies, ultimately providing guidance to Member States in their national EELA programmes.

Market surveillance for lighting products was enabled through the purchase of portable goniometers for each of the 21 member states, to screen the quality of lighting products. This equipment will allow for screening of lighting products in the EAC and SADC markets and facilitate verification of their compliance to national standards and regionally harmonised and adopted MEPS.

Moreover, in line with the Regional Compliance Framework, joint testing and market surveillance activities involving all Member States will be organised by the EELA project around the distributed portable test equipment, to promote regional collaboration and intelligence sharing on compliance, which is essential for well-functioning and effective regional markets.

Guidelines for energy efficient public procurement were developed, and trainings are being conducted among public procurers.

Since Governments and their agencies are major buyers in most countries, encouraging them to procure more energy efficient products is an effective method of increasing the use of such products. These guidelines are intended to help Governments put in place mechanisms that ensure they purchase more efficient appliances both in terms of the quantities purchased relative to the total purchases and of the efficiency levels of individual products.

The EELA project participated in major regional and global events, for example the Africa Energy Indaba, Vienna Energy Forum, and SEforALL Forum.