Power Africa to join ‘Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa’

Power Africa to join ‘Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa’

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Power Africa, a U.S. Government-led partnership, is providing support to the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) initiative in Burkina Faso, Liberia, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia. Power Africa will provide an in-kind contribution worth approx. EUR 4 million (USD 4.5 million) over three years in order to help operationalise the initiative and develop a pipeline of commercially viable projects within the framework of BGFA.

The core function of BGFA is to provide financial incentives to selected private energy companies to enable them to offer high quality, affordable and climate-friendly energy services and products under sustainable and inclusive market conditions to rural and peri-urban people in the target countries.

“Power Africa works in partnership to increase the number of people with access to power. The BGFA initiative fits well into our goal of 60 million new home and business connections in sub-Saharan Africa, where 70% of the population is still lacking access to electricity. We are pleased with the results from the pilot programme in Zambia, to which we also contributed, and we strongly believe that the initiative, now being extended to four new countries, will accelerate energy access in additional markets,” said David Stonehill, Beyond the Grid Lead at Power Africa.

The first funding round of BGFA will start with a Call for Proposals in September 2020 for Burkina Faso, Liberia, Mozambique and Zambia. As part of the pre-award activities, Power Africa will provide off-grid market intelligence, support the design and technical scope of the results-based facility and participate in the evaluation of proposals. Post-award activities include, among others, technical assistance to energy service companies to improve their business performance, facilitation of partnerships between local and international companies, and efforts to improve the legal and regulatory framework for off-grid energy together with local energy authorities in target countries.

Ash Sharma, Head of BGFA at the facility manager Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), welcomes Power Africa to the BGFA team. “With its extensive hands-on experience in the off-grid sector and strong local presence, Power Africa brings significant value to the initiative. We look forward to building on the cooperation started in the Zambian programme, with additional joint activities in areas as diverse as gender assessment, policy and regulatory reform, private sector outreach and e-waste management. ”

The BGFA is a financing facility managed by NEFCO and implemented on the ground by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP). Total funding of the BGFA now stands at approximately EUR 59 million, currently financed by Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the planned EUR 4 million in-kind contribution by Power Africa. The facility is also open to other like-minded contributors and several other actors, including Germany and Denmark, have already shown interest in joining the programme.

About Power Africa

Power Africa is a U.S. government-led partnership that brings together the collective resources of over 170 public and private sector partners to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa’s goal is to add more than 30,000 megawatts (MW) of new electricity generation capacity and connect 60 million new homes and businesses to power by 2030.  To date, Power Africa has helped bring 141 power generation deals to financial close with a generation capacity of over 11,123 MW. These 141 deals are valued at over $20 billion. Of these deals, 62 are operational and generating over 4,000 MW of new and more reliable electricity.  Since its launch in 2013, Power Africa has connected 16 million homes and businesses to on- and off-grid solutions, bringing first time electricity to 74 million people across sub-Saharan Africa.  Read more on www.usaid.gov/powerafrica.

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