AFRICA’S leading development finance organisation, Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) has launched an US$ 8.5 million grant facility to support the adoption, diversification of renewable energy solutions in Somalia.
AECF is a finance organisation that supports businesses to invent, create jobs and leverage investments in order to create resilience and sustainable incomes in rural and marginalised communities in Africa.
It focuses specifically on agribusiness, renewable energy, and climate technologies, while also addressing the cross-cutting themes of gender, youth and fragile contexts.
The World Bank SDG recently provided a tracking report which estimated that 11 Million Somalis lack access to electricity services with only 3% having access to clean cooking, this lack of electricity and use of poor-quality cooking fuels continues to hamper development for low-income households of the people of Somalia.
Speaking at the launch of the grant, AECF Chief Executive Officer Victoria Sabula said the Somali market presents a unique opportunity for us and other development partners to change the narrative on the reliance on diesel-powered mini-grids as we facilitate a switch to renewable energy sources.
“To achieve this stimulation of market growth and engagement of the private sector in renewable energy value chains is pivotal. In addition to the funding, we will provide technical support, business linkages and investment facilitation.
“For this call, we are looking to work with businesses at different developmental stages particularly those at an early stage. In addition to the funding, we will provide technical support, business linkages and investment facilitation,” she said.
The programme targets private sector companies and microfinance institutions that are commercially active. These businesses are expected to be delivering low cost, clean energy products and services that benefit the poor in rural and peri-urban Somalia as well as Internally Displaced Persons, especially women and youth. This programme aims to enable 300,000 people to access clean energy and create jobs for both youth and women.
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