Over 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live without access to electricity. The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) aims to reduce this gap by stimulating and accelerating new business models to incentivise the private sector to offer affordable and clean energy access at scale to people living in rural and peri-urban areas. BGFA was established in 2019 as an initiative of the Swedish Government – building on REEEP’s successful, award-winning pilot in Zambia, the Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia (BGFZ) – and is facility managed by the Nordic Environmental Finance Corporation (Nefco).
Today, BGFA is a multi-year funding facility aimed at expanding BGFZ’s approach into new sub-Saharan African countries and kick-start markets for clean off-grid energy. By enabling the scale-up and greater deployment of energy access solutions in different markets, the programme aims to create long-lasting change. It works through a combination of an innovative results-based financing mechanism for energy companies, close cooperation with governments and real-time data collection and analysis. The BGFA programme aims to establish up to 1.44 million energy connections by 2028, benefiting more than 6.5 million people.
REEEP plays a major role in designing and creating the vision, strategy and approach of the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa programme. Starting at the market scoping stage, we use our 20+ years of experience with, and connections to, a wide network of market players, companies and policymakers to undertake in-depth market assessments and best capture the needs and opportunities of the market in question.
REEEP advises Nefco on the design of the funding windows to synchronize the design with market realities while creating maximum impact, minimal intervention and the best value for money. While BGFA relies on third-party evaluators to ensure impartial assessments, REEEP has supported this process through parallel evaluations and technical guidance to Nefco and their contracted evaluators.
Once BGFA project proposals have been ranked, REEEP undertakes due diligence on the highest-scoring applicants to analyse the substance of their business plans and ensure that BGFA requirements are met.
After Nefco validates and contracts companies that successfully pass due diligence, REEEP coordinates and implements technical assistance activities towards BGFA awardees, supporting energy services to meet their BGFA goals and sustainably scale up their operations in target markets.
In 2022, 13 companies were contracted who are expected to establish 953,000 new energy service subscriptions in the coming four years, which has the potential to provide clean energy access for 4.8 million people in rural areas of Burkina Faso, Liberia, Uganda and Zambia. The BGFA programme has committed EUR 25 million in results-based financing to these 13 investees, which in turn are seeking to mobilise EUR 80-100 million in additional funding over the lifetime of the agreements, scheduled to end in 2027.
REEEP's BGFA team is based in Vienna and often travels to the countries of implementation to conduct our work on the ground.Meet our Team