The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) announced on June 11 that it more than doubled its project portfolio last year, with commitments of $6.5 million, for 10 new projects all over the continent during the launch of its 2014 Annual Report.
SEFA 2014 highlights include: $3.6 million in preparation grant approvals for projects in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania. The projects are expected to result in over 142 megawatts of additional capacity and $386 million in capital investment. In addition the launch of the Africa Renewable Energy Fund, a pan-African private equity fund were created to address the lack of access to early stage capital for independent power producers (up to 50 megawatts). The year finished with a $132-million capitalization and approved investments in two projects in Ethiopia (geothermal) and Uganda (hydro); and the rollout of an enabling environment financing component to help public sector partners attract private sector investment in clean energy through which the governments of Mali and the Comoros benefitted.
Speaking about the launch, SEFA Coordinator Joao Duarte Cunha said, “In spite of the continent’s endowment of vast renewable energy resources, much of the population still suffers from limited access to affordable and reliable modern energy services. SEFA will therefore continue to play a critical and lead role in delivering seed financing and advisory services, while leveraging the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) experience and convening power to increase sustainable energy projects in Africa.”
Alex Rugamba, Director for AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, added, “SEFA is a key component of the AfDB’s mandate to deliver clean, modern and affordable energy to power economic growth on the continent. This is a vision shared with our partners, such as the UK’s Department for International Development, which pledged GBP 10 million to SEFA through the Green Mini-Grid Regional Facility for Africa to catalyze the development of commercially viable clean energy mini-grids.”
A partnership between the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) also benefitted from an enabling environment grant to develop the Atlas of Africa’s Energy Resources which will strengthen the availability of data on energy and energy-related issues and provide up-to-date information on country-specific energy resource development and related environmental challenges.
Launched in 2012, SEFA is an $87-million multi-donor facility funded by the governments of Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States. It supports the sustainable energy agenda in Africa through: grants, equity investments, and support to the public sector.