The first funding round in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) attracted great interest among private sector companies, i.e. energy service providers in the off-grid sector, active on the market. In total, 40 applications were received, of which 29 passed the initial screening and are now undergoing detailed evaluation.
Through the funded projects, BGFA will support the acceleration of the entrance and scale-up of commercially sustainable businesses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a focus on reaching underserved communities in rural, peri-urban and some urban areas. Project implementation is expected to start in 2023 and continue until the end of 2027.
“We are very pleased to have received a good overall market response to our Call for Proposals in DRC and that the 29 applications present a good mix of technologies,” said Dennis Hamro-Drotz, Senior Programme Manager at Nefco.
Applications passing the initial screening are spread between different technologies, including mini-grid, solar home system (SHS) and productive use of energy projects. The funding proposals submitted by the eligible applicants represent 7.4 times the available funding.
The aim of this fourth BGFA funding round is to enable the establishment of up to 110,000 energy connections and some 50 high-tier productive use connections that will benefit more than 500,000 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The indicative individual contract ticket size per company is expected to be EUR 1-5 million.
Sweden is supporting the expansion of the BGFA programme to DRC to help the country build up a sustainable energy system and increase the affordability of off-grid solutions, and it will form an important part of the Swedish engagement in poverty reduction and sustainable development in the country.
“The high number of applications shows the large potential of the BGFA programme in DRC. We look forward to seeing the final outcome of the funding round and how increased access to electricity will contribute to improved livelihoods for the Congolese population,” commented Gustav Isaksson, Programme Officer Environment, Climate and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources at the Swedish Embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Call for Proposals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (BGFA4) was open for applications between 21 June and 29 August 2022 through an online system. The aim of the first stage was to check Applicants’ compliance with the key eligibility criteria and minimum technical and financial capacity requirements. Applicants passing the first stage evaluation will be invited to proceed to a Final Application stage in November 2022. Further information will be made available directly to the applicants through the online application system.
For further information, please contact:
Dennis Hamro-Drotz, Senior Programme Manager at Nefco
dennis.hamro-drotz [at] nefco.int, +358 10 6180 641
The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) is a multi-donor facility established and managed by Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank. Nefco is an international financial institution based in Helsinki, Finland, focusing on environmental and climate investments. The BGFA programme is implemented by Nefco together with its two project implementation partners. 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. The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral partnership based in Vienna, Austria, works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy-efficiency solutions in developing countries.
The current EUR 107.6 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. Power Africa, an initiative administered by USAID, is providing an in-kind technical assistance contribution worth USD 4.5 million (approx. EUR 4 million) over three years to help operationalise the initiative and develop a pipeline of commercially viable projects within the framework of BGFA. Germany, through its development bank KfW, is supporting the BGFA country programme in Zambia by providing EUR 7.5 million.
Photo: African women watching TV with an off-grid connection through a Solar Home System appliance – Jason Mulikita