Institution to invest over $20 million in household solar in 5 countries

THE Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), has disclosed plans to invest $20.8 million on household solar in Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Senegal and Somalia.

This is even as it launched the Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies (REACT) Household Solar Round 2 competition, aimed at boosting access to transformative solar home systems to rural poor households in sub-Saharan Africa.

AECF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Daniel Ohande made the disclosure at the second round launch of the AECF REACT Household Solar competition in Abuja.

He said the funding will be invested in private sector companies to deliver business models that will bring about accelerated access to transformative solar home systems.

Ohande explained that the AECF is a $356 million development institution that works with private sectors across the 26 countries in two sectors namely; agribusiness and renewable energy.

According to him, the institution provides catalytic funding as grants or interest-free loans to businesses that can positively impact on rural sub-Saharan Africa.

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He said the first round of the programme, worth $10 million (£8 million) was launched in 2017 adding that so far, a total of $7 million has been invested in 10 companies spread across 4 countries.

The countries are; Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia.

“The competition we are launching today is part of our REACT. Over the past nine years, our investments in renewable energy across 19 countries have transformed the livelihoods over 8 million people, contributed to the generation of over 29.7 megawatts of clean energy and contributed to the reduction in Co2 emissions by over 1 million cumulatively.

“The AECF has supported 267 businesses and impacted the lives of 19 million people through jobs, increased household incomes generating a total net development impact of $354 million. In 2018 alone,” he added.

Ohande to this end urged private sector across the five countries to apply for the funding so as to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal(SDG) seven that seeks to ensure access to clean and affordable energy for all.