AFRICA: SEFA finances $10m to bring electricity to one million people
The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) is providing CrossBoundary Access with $10 million in funding. This financing mechanism for solar mini-grids has set itself the target of electrifying one million people over the next few years.
With 580 million Africans still without access to electricity, CrossBoundary Access wants to use solar mini-grids to turn the tide. The CrossBoundary group’s electrification financing mechanism has just secured $10 million in funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA).
“SEFA’s patient capital investment will go a long way towards demonstrating a viable project finance model, attracting more commercial financiers and widening access to renewable electricity on the African continent,” explains João Sarmento Cunha, SEFA’s director. In concrete terms, this financing is being granted as part of a project to electrify one million Africans, supported by CrossBoundary Acces.
In June 2022, the project already received $25 million in funding from ARCH Emerging Markets Partners, Bank of America and Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund. As part of this project, CrossBoundary will deploy an investment of $150 million over the next three years to build mini-grids powered by solar photovoltaic energy.
These funds are being mobilised at a time when the mini-grid segment needs $187 billion of investment to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030. In Nigeria, CrossBoundary Access has already begun implementing its electrification project by signing a $60 million investment agreement with the French company Engie Energy Access. The aim is to electrify 150,000 people living in rural areas through a portfolio of solar mini-grids.