USD 26.5 million to bridge energy gaps in sub-Saharan Africa
Oikocredit will invest USD 26.5 million towards renewable energy infrastructure in sub-Saharan African communities over the next four years. The funds will go towards energy generating assets and productive use equipment.
The investment was made public at the Clinton Global Initiative 2023 Meeting in New York recently.
Oikocredit hopes to create a positive impact in two ways. Financing the procurement, construction and maintenance of distributed renewable energy infrastructure will ensure more people, businesses and communities have access to electricity. Such infrastructure includes generation and distribution assets, including mini-grids and other off-grid solar solutions.
In addition, Oikocredit will either directly finance or work with other parties to finance and facilitate holistic community interventions centred on the needs and wants of local communities by onboarding local solution providers. Funds will help provide productive use equipment such as millers, driers, cold storage, smart irrigation, water storage and e-mobility solutions.
In each case, these will be solutions and interventions determined and agreed on by the communities themselves.
Intended outcomes aim at stimulating rural development, including through electricity for buildings such as schools and healthcare facilities, and by supporting increased economic activity, production of additional goods, and greater access to services.
As former US President Bill Clinton said at the recent event, “Electricity means more opportunity in rural communities in Africa, increased economic activity, expanded education and improved public health for millions.”
“Oikocredit is leading the way to reverse the current declining trajectory of Africa’s electrification rate by bringing renewable energy to rural communities,” he added.
More than 660 million people around the world will lack electricity access even in 2030, with about 85% of that number in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the International Energy Agency.
Yet, the region will experience the world’s strongest demographic and economic growth, putting it on course for declining electrification over the next decade.
James Todd, Renewable Energy Manager at Oikocredit, said, “Electricity is essential to a productive and fulfilling life for each of us. At the same time, clean energy has been recognised as fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of reducing poverty, improving public health, and broadening education. With this new commitment, we look forward to supporting these outcomes with our existing partners and with new affiliates working at the grassroots level.”
Read the press release here.
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