Over 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live today without access to electricity. For most of these people, connection to the grid is not likely to happen for decades, or longer. So far, no country has been able to bridge the poverty gap without access to electricity.
The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa aims to reduce this gap by stimulating and accelerating the emergence of new business models for provision of affordable energy access at scale whilst demonstrating sustainability over time. The programme forms part of the ‘Power Africa’ initiative launched by former President Barack Obama and contributes to the Sustainable Development Goal 7 and the Paris Agreement.
The programme builds on the positive experiences of the Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia (BGFZ), which Sweden commenced in 2016. Sweden will contribute an initial SEK 500 million (approx. EUR 48 million) to the expansion and is through the cooperation with NEFCO looking to attract other like-minded donors with the aim to convert the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa into a multi-donor programme over time. NEFCO will manage the new facility and the programme will be implemented in collaboration with REEEP, an expert organisation who has been instrumental to the early success of the Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia.
“NEFCO is accredited by the EU and the Green Climate Fund and is an experienced fund manager, which is already managing several trust funds for Sida,” says Anders Arvidson, Project Leader for Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa at Sida. “We share the same values as regards environmental, social and gender aspects. Additionally, NEFCO can provide the highest level of fiduciary requirements related to reporting, auditing and anti-corruption.”
Magnus Rystedt, Managing Director at NEFCO sees great potential for small and medium-sized businesses in the programme: “We are very happy for this opportunity to make use of our considerable experience in setting up and administrating multi-donor instruments and create new, innovative green growth financing opportunities for small-and medium sized private energy companies.”