AFRICA: Post-Covid-19 green off-grid support mechanism extended with $20m

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Covid-19 pandemic “is now behind us”. But the activities of the Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform are being extended with $20 million in funding. This was announced by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is providing USD 13 million of the funding. The other part of the financing, i.e. 7 million dollars, is provided by the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), a special multi-donor fund managed by the AfDB.

Launched by the pan-African bank just after the Covid-19 pandemic, this $50 million facility will be active for five years. During this period, the platform will support companies that install green mini-grids, solar home systems, clean cooking systems and other renewable energy access solutions. The aim is to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and ensure a robust commercial recovery of the green off-grid sector in Africa.

Already 12 companies funded…

This stimulus package is needed more than ever at a time when the energy sector is already feeling the impact of the war in Ukraine. “The implementation of the second phase of the Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform will help generate an additional $70 million in financing for the energy access sector to cushion the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on supply chains, inflation, increased cost of capital and the impact of the conflict in Ukraine,” says the AfDB.

According to the Abidjan, Ivory Coast-based financial institution, the Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform has already provided “flexible” financing to 12 energy access providers that are marketing and deploying solar home systems, mini-grids and solar irrigation solutions for commercial and industrial use.

The first phase of this post-Covid-19 stimulus programme has already received $20 million from fund managers Lion’s Head Global Partners, Triple Jump, and Social Investment Managers and Advisors. Just after its launch in December 2020, the programme received an initial $20 million in funding from SEFA.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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