Energise Africa to receive £1.6 million from UK Aid to improve energy access in Africa

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UK Aid is set to invest £1.6 million of capital into Energise Africa to improve access to Energy in Africa where approximately two-thirds of the population across sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity and improve the lives of over 11 million people while boosting UK business opportunities.

Approximately two-thirds of the population across sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity. Innovative off-grid technology such as pay-as-you-go household solar systems can provide this much-needed modern energy.  Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin, accompanied by the Prime Minister said Africa’s solar industry is vibrant and exciting, full of potential to transform the lives of millions of people who are still living off the grid.

“By sharing British expertise we’re allowing this industry to flourish, helping the poorest to access clean, sustainable energy, while also opening up opportunities for UK business and investment. This is a win for African countries and a win for the UK,” said Baldwin. “UK aid, through the Department for International Development is supporting early stage businesses in Africa to design innovative household solar technologies and break into new markets through the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund.”

The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund will help up to 1.5 million poor people in sub-Saharan Africa access clean, affordable modern energy by 2022, with a focus on women and children.

Secondly, using British expertise to help governments break down barriers to the growth of solar companies in Africa and lay the groundwork in 14 partner sub-Saharan African countries for innovative solar companies to grow, increasing access to modern, clean energy for 10 million people; and lastly, scaling up its support to the Energise Africa impact investment platform, to help 1,500 new UK small investors provide the critical finance needed to connect 125,000 more African people to affordable, reliable and clean solar energy.

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The new round of the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF, £16 million) will provide grants, loans and business development support to small businesses creating innovative household solar products and appliances in Nigeria, Ghana, Somalia, Senegal and Ethiopia.

DFID’s Clean Energy Technical Assistance Facility of £15.5 million will work across 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria and Kenya, to create a regulatory environment in which solar companies can flourish, increasing access to modern energy for 10 million poor people, with a focus on women and children.

The additional £1.6 million of capital to the Energise Africa platform will work alongside partners such as Virgin Unite to crowd investment from 1,500 new small UK investors, and connect at least 125,000 more people to clean, reliable energy – allowing the programme to reach a total of 325,000 people.

In addition to household systems, the programme will also help provide power to schools, hospitals, and farmers – boosting vital services and economies. The funding can be returned and used over and again, which means its impact will grow further for many years to come, maximising value for money for the UK taxpayer.

Energise Africa to date has raised £4.8 million from 1,000 investors to help more than 195,000 people in Arica access affordable solar energy.