The African Development Bank (AfDB) has finalized funding agreements for the COVID-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform, which will receive a $20 million concessional investment from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) (CRP).
According to an AfDB statement issued on Sunday, the concessional loan agreements were signed following approval by the bank’s board of directors in December 2020 for the $20 million concessional investment from SEFA to construct the platform.
Fund managers Lion’s Head Global Partners, Triple Jump, and Social Investment Managers and Advisors signed the agreements.
Harry Guinness, managing director of the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund, which is part of the larger Facility for Energy Inclusion, thanked the AfDB for its assistance.
“Lion’s Head is immensely grateful for the support from the AfDB, in particular the SEFA team and funders, for developing this innovative and catalytic co-investment instrument”.
“African markets have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 due to lack of infrastructure, macro vulnerabilities, especially in terms of currency and credit shocks and increasing global protectionism,” Guinness said.
Also, Jan-Henrik Kuhlmann, Head of Sustainable Energy, Triple Jump, said: “the COVID-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform comes at a critical moment for early-stage energy access companies affected by COVID-19 and allows the Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund to continue releasing flexible capital into the sector at a time when risk capital is increasingly scarce”.
Furthermore, Asad Mahmood, chief executive officer and managing partner of Social Investment Managers and Advisors, stated that the AfDB’s relief efforts were market-driven and flexible and that they would help to utilize existing money to eventually support Africa’s energy distribution business.
According to Joao Duarte Cunha, AfDB’s division manager for Renewable Energy, the pandemic has jeopardized the progress made in electricity using off-grid technologies across Africa over the last decade. Duarte Cunha, on the other hand, expressed joy that the program will boost the sector’s resilience.
“(We) look forward to working closely with our partners to safeguard energy access services and enable continued business expansion through and beyond the crisis”.
The COVID-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform (CRP) assists enterprises in commercializing solar home systems, green mini-grids, clean cooking, and other renewable energy access solutions in reducing the effects of the pandemic and ensuring the industry’s enhanced commercial recovery.
The AfDB is committed to constructing a more sustainable and climate-resilient future by catalyzing private investment in low-carbon infrastructure through this Platform and other renewable energy projects.
This is done to develop green jobs, diversify national energy sectors, promote green growth, and improve rural communities’ climate resilience.
Meanwhile, SEFA is a bank-managed special fund that provides catalytic financing for renewable energy.
SEFA’s mission is to contribute to universal access to affordable, dependable, sustainable, and modern energy services for all Africans, by the New Deal on Energy for Africa and SDG 7.
It was founded in 2011 in collaboration with the Danish government and has since received donations from the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the Nordic Development Fund, and others.