The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) has unveiled an US$8.5mn grant facility to support adoption and diversification of renewable energy solutions in the Somalia and Somaliland.
This is part of the REACT sub-Saharan programme, which seeks to reduce poverty through a transformational increase in the use of renewable energy by off-grid households.
“The Somali market presents a unique opportunity for us and other development partners to change the narrative on reliance of diesel-powered mini-grids as we facilitate a switch to renewable energy sources. To achieve this stimulation of market growth and engagement of private sector in renewable energy value chains is pivotal,” said Victoria Sabula, CEO of AECF.
According to the World Bank SDG monitoring report, it is estimated that 11 million Somalis do not have access to electricity services, with only 3% having access to clean cooking. This lack of electricity and low-quality cooking fuels continue to hinder the development of low-income households in Somalia.
“For this call, we are looking to work with businesses at different developmental stages, particularly those at early stage. In addition to the funding, we will provide technical support, business linkages and investment facilitation,” said the AECF CEO.
The programme focuses on 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 and Internally displaced persons, particularly women and youth. This programme aims to enable 300,000 people access clean energy and create jobs for both youth and women.
The deadline for the applications is 22nd January 2021.