Helios Social Enterprise

Helios assisted UNDP to identify ways to scale up and replicate their Multi-Functional Platform (MFP) programme in Mali.

UNDP worked with:

  • AMADER, the Mali government’s rural energy authority to extend the existing Multifunctional programme to the provision of electricity through local mini grids;
  • ANEBA, the government agency responsible for the development of biofuel in Mali; and
  • private enterprises introducing biofuel based on jatropha oil.

Over 400 hundred MFPs have been developed in Mali.  MFPs consist of a small diesel engine that generates electrical power to drive a range of small processing equipment such as grinding mills, huskers, pumps, battery chargers and carpentry equipment.  hey also have the potential to distribute water and electricity within local communities.  The programme is based on a participatory model that promotes the creation, development, and modernization of artisanal activities in villages, and the multifunctional platforms are installed and maintained by independent local artisans.  There is a huge demand for many more MFPs, reflecting the very real benefits that MFPs bring to communities.  In particular, they free women from time consuming and laborious chores and develop the capacity of communities to generate new income streams.

Helios was requested by the Environment and Energy Group in the Bureau of Development Policy at UNDP to review its MFP programme in Mali to assess the potential for scaling up the programme, and accelerating rural access to modern energy.    The potential for the use of jatropha is considerable and can be the basis for expanding some existing MFPs and establishing new MFPs to supply electricity to communities through local mini-grids.   Options were discussed with UNDP.