By Charles Abuede
- Aims to unlock new markets and increase access to clean energy by 87,000 Kenyan households
- Project expected to run for 30 months till December 2023
The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) has launched a $4 million financing programme aimed at unlocking new markets for clean energy that supports commercially viable energy companies and also accelerate access to clean energy for 87,000 unserved and underserved households in Kenya.
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AECF, a leading development finance firm, which supports businesses to innovate and leverage on investments, disclosed this in Nairobi on Wednesday, and said that the financing initiative will be rolled out in Kenya due to the fact the East African country has a relatively advanced clean energy market compared to other countries across sub-Saharan Africa.
The company further stated that the programme will help to improve access to clean and affordable energy given that as of June 2019, 4.1 million people in Kenya live with improved energy access and 3.5 million still without power.
Victoria Sabula, chief executive officer of AECF, while commenting on the plan, revealed that the launching will seek to provide result based incentives for firms that are increasing access for unserved and underserved communities in the country.
“Off-grid energy sector continues to require investment if we are to make notable progress in improving access to affordable and clean energy. We are excited to be launching the REACT RBF programme through which we seek to provide results-based incentives for companies that are increasing access for unserved and underserved communities.
“Energy access remains critical for a sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery and we see REACT RBF helping companies to withstand the Covid-19 effects, recover, and come out stronger on the other side,” Sabula said.
The CEO further revealed that the programme, which is funded by the Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA), will make available funding to energy companies in Kenya and incentivising them to reach more energy-deprived households and significantly increase their access to clean energy. The RBF projects are expected to be implemented over a 30-month period running from July 2021 to December 2023.
Meanwhile, energy companies in Kenya will be awarded financial support of up to $500,000 at contracting, with a flexible reallocation system to permit companies exceeding their landmark targets to increase their funding cap to $1 million.