Frequently Asked Questions

How does Lighting Global support World Bank energy-access projects?

The ESMAP-supported Lighting Global team is embedded into World Bank operational teams to support off-grid components of energy-access projects. As part of these teams we draw on our tried-and-tested toolkit of interventions to develop country-specific strategies and advise governments on how to increase off-grid energy access through policies and regulations such as PAYG regulation, fiscal incentives, standards and quality assurance, and consumer protection.

Where can I find information about the Lighting Africa and Lighting Asia programs?

The World Bank Group’s off-grid solar energy programs kicked-off in 2009 with pilot projects in Kenya and Ghana in 2009, under what was then known as Lighting Africa. Since then, we expanded our activities across the African continent, into Asia, and now have programs in parts of the rest of the world. As our goal is now global – to contribute to achieving SDG7- all of our work across all regions is now carried out under Lighting Global. All of the information previously housed at the Lighting Africa and Lighting Asia websites can now be found here, at For regional-specific information, please see Where We Work.

What changed at Lighting Global in 2022?

For more than a decade IFC and the World Bank managed Lighting Global together, to expand access to modern solar energy services for people living without reliable grid electricity by building and growing the off-grid solar market. We have continually fine-tuned and calibrated our interventions in order to adapt to local needs, rapidly developing technological and business model innovations, market dynamics, and energy access priorities.


We have once again adapted the program to best meet the current needs of the sector and the remaining unconnected population. With an off-grid ecosystem that now boasts a vibrant, dedicated, and deep roster of private-sector players operating a US $2.1 billion annual market, it is clear we have met our objective to create a thriving market. Thus, IFC has wound down its market development support activities under Lighting Global, while the World Bank, under the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), will continue supporting our Lighting Global activities, as we evolve the Lighting Global program to the next stage and ensure no one is left behind.


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How will IFC continue to support the off-grid solar sector?

IFC will continue to support the off-grid solar sector; we are shifting our focus from the wider market development activities we carried out under Lighting Global, to the essential task of mobilizing private investment to enable the commercial off-grid solar market to reach the scale needed to help deliver universal energy access by 2030. We will do this by leveraging IFC investment resources to support local financial institutions to provide needed local currency debt into the sector, and to pilot and help scale new financial instruments that will crowd-in mainstream investors to a capital hungry sector.  We will continue to work closely with the sector through the IFC-CGAP-GOGLA collaboration on PAYGo PERFORM as well as in other areas to help build the foundation for continued market growth.

Does Lighting Global still offer business development services?

Lighting Global continues to offer some limited business development services. Others that were previously undertaken by IFC under Lighting Global have been transitioned to other organizations that we have partnered with over the years. Offered services will include the following:

  • Lighting Global will continue to carry out and publish market research, and partner on flagship items including the Market Trends Report and the GOGLA-Lighting Global Off Grid Solar Forum. We will also continue to collaborate with GOGLA on their half-yearly sales data collection.
  • The Lighting Global team works through World Bank energy-access projects and will continue to promote proven mechanisms that allow markets to expand into new geographies and population segments, such as RBFs, access to finance, and policy support. Increasingly these projects comprise technical assistance facilities that provide matchmaking with manufacturers as well as business model support.
  • The business opportunity alerts provided by Lighting Global through the “In the Know” newsletters will be shared by VeraSol going forward. GOGLA will also share opportunities through its newsletters and via the GOGLA Bridge database. The company specific market trends analysis that had been provided by the Lighting Global team will now be provided by GOGLA to members. We have worked together to build a data platform which can return instant market analysis wherever the data is available. This allows companies to carry out their own analysis on multiple markets at their convenience. Please contact GOGLA for more information and access.

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Where can we get information about the World Bank programs that are supported by Lighting Global?

Lighting Global currently supports World Bank energy access programs in more than 20 countries around the globe, with a growing portfolio in the pipeline. You can find information about our program and activities on our website, and we will also send periodic updates via our newsletter.


The “In the Know” business opportunity alerts which have been provided by Lighting Global, will now be shared by VeraSol. The opportunities will be geared toward suppliers of VeraSol-certified products and contain up-to-date information about developments in the World Bank programs.


For other off-grid funding opportunities, you can also sign up to receive the GOGLA newsletter and for GOGLA BRIDGE.


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Will Lighting Global continue to offer “Associate” status?

No. “Associate” status was offered by IFC to manufacturers or distributors of Lighting Global quality-verified products, providing companies a window to receive client services from IFC. As World Bank programs supported by Lighting Global have never had an “Associates” market segment, this arrangement will not continue under the ESMAP-led Lighting Global program. However, some of the valued services previously offered by IFC will continue in some format, as detailed in the response to the above question, “Will Lighting Global continue to offer business development services?”