Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is increasingly being left behind: by 2030, nearly 600 million Africans will still be without electricity, forcing more people to rely on polluting and hazardous energy sources. Off-grid solar solutions have the potential to provide clean, affordable electricity to more than 65% of sub-Saharan Africans by 2030. Still, investment flows have not risen to the scale of the challenge.


Most off-grid energy investment is concentrated in lower-risk, established markets that are more attractive to investors. The largest share of funding has been assigned to East Africa (49%), mostly in Kenya. Meanwhile, nascent markets in SSA with low electricity rates attract only a fraction of the overall investment flowing into the off-grid solar sector. Western, Central, and Southern Africa account for 71% of the region’s unelectrified population but received just 22% of cumulative off-grid solar investment between 2012 and 2019.

Without significant energy access investments, Zambia will be left behind in the clean energy transition. Access to finance remains crucial in supporting the next phase of growth for OGS companies as they move beyond grant finance to operating on a more commercial basis.

The purpose of the REACH Sessions is to bring together public funders in Zambia (government, aid agencies, foundations) and investors, to discuss challenges and opportunities for investment in Zambia’s distributed renewable energy (DRE) sector. This event gives public funders a unique opportunity to hear first-hand from investors about investments they have made in the country, how they have gone, and investments they have considered but ultimately decided not to make. It also provides investors with the opportunity to provide feedback to public funders regarding what would enable them to make additional investments in the country.

Following private sector presentations outlining the challenges companies face when seeking to raise funds, investors will share their experiences, helping public funders design innovative de-risking mechanisms that catalyse debt and equity investments in Zambia’s off-grid solar sector.


REEEP’s Andrew Loebus will provide insights on the following panel:

12 April, 2:00pm - 4:00 pm
Session 2: Investor Perspective

Challenges and Opportunities for Investment in Zambia’s DRE Sector: Perspectives from Investors

InterContinental Hotel, Lusaka, Zambia


  • Sandra Halilovic,  Investment Director, Acumen
  • Samuel Njuguna,  Investment Officer,  Charm Impact
  • Davinia Cogan, Access to Finance lead, GDC
  • Andrew Loebus, Head of Programme (BGFA and PURE Growth), REEEP
  • Jeannetta Craigwell-Graham, Senior Expert,  GET.Invest
  • Ulf Ekdahl, Embassy of Sweden (SIDA)

Moderator: Lombe Lumbwe, Open Capital