The Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) have signed an agreement to cooperate on expanding off-grid electricity solutions in sub-Saharan African countries. The purpose of this new and major expansion, the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) is to incentivise the private sector to provide affordable and clean, high-quality off-grid energy services to people living in rural and peri-urban areas in Burkina Faso, Liberia, Mozambique and Zambia. The programme, implemented together with the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.
Over 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live today without access to electricity. For most of these people, connection to the grid is not likely to happen for decades, or longer. So far, no country has been able to bridge the poverty gap without access to electricity.
The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa aims to reduce this gap by stimulating and accelerating the emergence of new business models for provision of affordable energy access at scale whilst demonstrating sustainability over time. The programme forms part of the ‘Power Africa’ initiative launched by former President Barack Obama and contributes to the Sustainable Development Goal 7.
The core function of the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa is to offer financial incentives to selected private companies for the development of high quality energy services and products under sustainable and inclusive market conditions including solar home systems and microgrids. The planned period of implementation is six years and the programme is expected to benefit up to 15 million rural and peri-urban people in the participating countries.
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