AFRICA: a $10m grant for electrification via solar mini-grids

Over the coming months, the Universal Energy Facility (UEF) will support electricity access providers in Africa. Managed by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), the mechanism plans to sign a series of subsidy agreements with at least six companies operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Madagascar and Sierra Leone.

Located south of the Sahara, these countries are among the worst performers when it comes to electrification. In the DRC, for example, nearly 80% of the population still has no access to electricity, according to the World Bank’s 2021 report. Yet this Central African country of 95 million people has immense and varied energy potential from renewable resources such as hydroelectricity, biomass, solar and geothermal energy. Given this situation, the solar mini-grid offers a solution for the rapid electrification of the population.

Electrification of 50,000 people in Madagascar

The UEF funding is intended to catalyse the development of this decentralised solution. “Once again, the UEF is proving to be a rapid and cost-effective solution for accelerating the deployment of clean energy subsidies,” says Edward Borgstein, Chief Executive of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), one of the UEF’s donors. According to SEforALL, the UEF grant will make it possible to develop an installed capacity of 3.7 MW, enough to provide access to electricity for 88,000 people in 29 communities.