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AfDB-sponsored Off-Grid Energy Access Fund hits final close

Staff writer
March 19, 2020, 2:13 p.m.
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The Facility for Energy Inclusion’s Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI OGEF) has reached a final equity close with $59m in committed equity capital and $36m debt facilities, to support innovative, off-grid energy access companies.

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The Facility for Energy Inclusion’s Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI OGEF) has reached a final equity close with $59m in committed equity capital and $36m debt facilities, to support innovative, off-grid energy access companies.

Wale Shonibare, the Bank’s acting Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth, said: “We are pleased to welcome the participation of like-minded partners in our shared ambition to promote access to modern, reliable and sustainable energy in Africa, and to enhance private sector participation in order deliver electricity to underserved communities in Africa.” 

The final close, reached on November 18, 2019, was made possible through a $15m equity contribution from the European Union (EU), and a further $17m from KfW, acting on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).  

Additionally, the EU is providing $2m to fund a technical assistance facility, to enhance local currency financing.

Other OGEF equity investors include the Nordic Development Fund and All On Calvert Impact Capital and the Prudential Insurance Company of America.  

OGEF expects to raise further debt towards its $130m target over the next 12-18 months.

The African Development Bank is the fund’s anchor sponsor with a $30m contribution, and $8.5m from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Babette Stein von Kamienski, KfW’s Director of Power and Energy in Southern Africa, said: “KfW and BMZ have invested in OGEF to support this collaborative effort to advance climate friendly off-grid energy in Africa, demonstrating that off-grid solutions can complement sustained grid electrification to accelerate electricity access to millions of Africans.”

Originally supported by a grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), FEI OGEF is currently managed by Lion’s Head Global Partners.

“We are proud to have reached this milestone and excited to play a meaningful role in growing the sector and serve customers who are not currently served by traditional electricity grids. The off-grid market potential is massive and on track to transform electricity access in Africa as we know it,” said Harry Guinness, Fund Manager of OGEF.

FEI OGEF had its first close in November 2018 with committed capital of $58m and has since closed a number of deals in the energy access space.

These include an $8m local currency loan to BBOXX in Rwanda for the expansion of its solar home systems business and a $2.5m inventory financing loan to SunCulture in Kenya, for the scaling up of its pay-as-you-go solar irrigation kits business to smallholder farmers.

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