The objective of the Initiative is to pool the resources of the participants in order to develop models to meet the needs for modern energy services in rural areas of Africa, including their business, institutional, technological, financial and social aspects.

Through this objective, AREA will contribute to achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in the following ways:

– Poverty reduction. The operation of rural energy service systems will create income and jobs:

– directly, at the village level, in the operation and maintenance of the energy service systems;

– indirectly, by increasing the opportunity for village level craft and agro-alimentary activities (wood processing, food processing, welding, …);

– in the manufacture and assembly of system components;

– Health. The energy systems will contribute to better health in rural areas in the following ways:

– pumping of potable water;

– water for irrigation, thus increasing the food supply;

– refrigeration and lighting in health clinics;

– reduction of indoor air pollution, through the improvement of domestic fuel quality the through better stoves;

– Gender equality. Free women and girls from time consuming tasks such as carrying water (through motorised water pumping), collecting firewood (through improved fuels and stoves for cooking) or from milling grains (mechanical milling);

– Natural resource management. The biomass needed for energy production will be produced through sustainable forestry management techniques and through use of waste products. This will permit better management of land and forest resources, and aid in the fight against deforestation.