ENGIE Energy Access Uganda signs first project with Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA)
The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) programme has signed its first agreements in Uganda to support the expansion and scale-up of high-quality solar home systems. The projects will scale up energy access in rural and peri-urban areas in the country with the help of results-based financing provided from the programme.
ENGIE Energy access Uganda being one of the first projects that has been signed - jointly with d.light Design Uganda. The total value of the two first agreements is approx. EUR 5.2 million, enabling the establishment of up to 370,000 high-quality energy service connections, which will benefit approx. 1.8 million people.
“We are excited to partner with BGFA over the next four years and improve the lives of over 800,000 people with our solar entry-level kits. Thanks to the use of digital tools and strong penetration of mobile money in sub-Saharan Africa, we sell access to energy products to our customers on credit to make them affordable. With the much-needed support from impact investors such as BGFA, we will be able to provide sustainable, renewable energy to communities that are most vulnerable and help them climb the energy ladder,” comments Gillian-Alexandre Huart, CEO of ENGIE Energy Access.
“We are very happy to continue our cooperation with ENGIE Energy Access with this new project in Uganda and support its business expansion and scale-up of solar home systems on the market and the creation of approx. 170,000 new energy connections,” says Kari Hämekoski, Senior Programme Manager at Nefco.
The supported projects will help to improve the affordability of off-grid energy products in Uganda. From a longer-term perspective, the projects will increase job opportunities, enable better quality education and support the transformation of increased usage of renewable energy sources. In addition to these first two projects, Nefco is currently negotiating further project agreements also with local Ugandan companies. The BGFA expansion in Uganda is financed by Denmark and Sweden.
Photo: Meeting in Kampala with d.light Design Uganda and ENGIE Energy Access Uganda. Starting from left: Cynthia Natukunda and Ssuna Timothy (d.light Design Ugand), Tina Nyberg (Nefco), Marjolein Bommmerez and Beatrice Nabbanja (ENGIE Energy Access)
The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa is a multi-donor facility established and managed by the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (Nefco). Nefco is an international financial institution based in Helsinki, Finland, focusing on environmental and climate investments. BGFA is implemented in partnership with NIRAS and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP). NIRAS is a development and engineering consultancy company headquartered in Denmark with offices in over 25 countries across Europe, Africa, South Asia and Latin America. REEEP is an international multilateral partnership based in Vienna, Austria, that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy-efficiency solutions in developing countries.
The current approx. EUR 127 million BGFA programme was established in 2019 on Sweden’s initiative through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). It has since been developed by Nefco into a multi-donor programme. Sweden contributes SEK 835 million (EUR 80 million) from the Swedish embassies in all BGFA project countries. Denmark, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contributes DKK 117.5 million (EUR 15.8 million) to support the programme in Uganda. Germany, through its development bank KfW, is supporting the BGFA country programme in Zambia by providing EUR 7.5 million. Norway, through Norad – the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, contributes NOK 200 million (EUR 19 million).