Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa welcomes Norway as the latest contributor to the multi-donor programme

Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa welcomes Norway as the latest contributor to the multi-donor programme

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Norway is joining the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) programme to support its expansion and deepen activities in all current project countries. The initial Norwegian contribution, through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), is NOK 200 million over 5 years.

The Norwegian contribution, which corresponds to EUR 19 million, aims to support the acceleration of affordable energy access in underserved communities with the focus on supporting the BGFA-selected energy service providers in Burkina Faso, Liberia, Uganda and Zambia. The contribution will support to establish over 400,000 energy service connections by the end of 2027, which will benefit more than 2 million people. The contribution will also enable technical assistance to the funded companies, the energy service providers, during the whole project implementation phase as well as support the creation of local institutional capacity building.

“We are excited to join the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa programme. In cooperation with Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Power Africa, we will scale up and accelerate renewable energy access for disadvantaged rural populations in Africa based on results-based financing. Our aim is to strengthen the use of renewable energy, improve livelihoods, strengthen food security and reduce poverty through the supported projects”, said Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development, Norway today at COP27 in Egypt.

The BGFA programme is an innovative, multi-donor initiative that provides results-based financing to private sector companies to scale up clean and high-quality off-grid energy services, such as solar home systems and mini-grids under sustainable and inclusive market conditions to rural and peri-urban people in the BGFA countries. The aim is to support the establishment of 1.45 million energy connections, as a result of the four funding rounds so far, which will benefit 6.5 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa. Under the contracts signed to date, BGFA energy service providers are incentivised to reach almost 4 million rural Africans.

“We are very pleased to onboard Norway, one of the owners of Nefco, as a new investor in the BGFA programme. Norad’s contribution will support the rapid expansion of the BGFA programme, further deepening implementation outcomes in the current countries,” comments Ash Sharma, Head of Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa at Nefco.

The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa has so far contracted 12 projects from its first funding round, which opened in autumn 2020 in Burkina Faso, Liberia and Zambia (BGFA1), and a number of projects are under negotiation. The second and third founding rounds opened in spring 2021 in Mozambique (BGFA2) and Uganda (BGFA3) respectively. A fourth funding round (BGFA4) was opened in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in June 2022, which will launch its second stage of the application process inviting successful applicants to submit their Final Applications in November 2022.

Photo: COP27 on Thursday 10 November 2022

For further information, please contact:

Ash Sharma, Vice President of Special Funds at Nefco, +358 10 618 06 53

Henrik Lunden, Senior Adviser at Norad, +47 239 803 59

Download our BGFA brochure

About BGFA

The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) is a multi-donor facility established and managed by Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank. Nefco is an international financial institution based in Helsinki, Finland, focusing on environmental and climate investments and fund management. The BGFA programme is implemented by Nefco supported by its two project implementation partners. NIRAS is a development and engineering consultancy company headquartered in Denmark with offices in over 25 countries across Europe, Africa, South Asia and Latin America. The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral partnership based in Vienna, Austria, works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy-efficiency solutions in developing countries.

The current approx. EUR 127 million BGFA programme was established in 2019 on Sweden’s initiative through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). It has since been developed by Nefco into a multi-donor programme. Sweden contributes SEK 835 million (EUR 80 million) from the Swedish embassies in all BGFA project countries. Denmark, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contributes DKK 117.5 million (EUR 15.8 million) to support the programme in Uganda. Power Africa, an initiative administered by USAID, is providing an in-kind technical assistance contribution worth USD 4.5 million (approx. EUR 4 million) over three years to help operationalise the initiative and develop a pipeline of commercially viable projects within the framework of BGFA. Germany, through its development bank KfW, is supporting the BGFA country programme in Zambia by providing EUR 7.5 million.

Photo: Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development, Ash Sharma, Head of BGFA and Stig Traavik, Director, Department for Climate and Environment, Norad

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