The project IMPROVES-RE contractually started in April 1, 2005, but the activities effectively started after the kick-off meeting which was held at IED, Francheville, France on May 19 and 20, 2005 wherein the European partners were present.
Following this meeting, a kick-off mission was organized in the four countries concerned, marking the effective start date of the activities in each of the countries (July for Mali, November for Burkina Faso and Niger, December for Cameroon). These workshops were dedicated to the programme presentation and its links with national concerns, and to multi-sectorial discussions about information sharing. This relative time lag between the official project launch and country kick-off meetings has since been caught up with. The only modification to note is that the training activity on Geographical Information Systems, envisaged within the framework of the first semester, was shifted to the second six-month period to hold account of the advance of the process of data-collection in the various countries.
After this first inception phase dedicated to the launching of the project in the four countries and discussion / confirmation of the methodological approach of the project, actual field work was undertaken during the second semester of the project .
The following key activities were then carried out:
·Validation of the pilot zones by the institutional partners in each country, ·Establishment of a first analysis of the electrification situation, ·Launching of socio-economic investigations in pilot zones, ·Identification and study of “Development poles” ·Analysis of the solvent demand for electricity.