Further projects signed with off-grid energy service companies in Uganda and Zambia
The signed agreements with Tulima Solar and d.light Zambia will support the expansion and scale-up of solar powered water pumps in Uganda and high-quality solar home systems in Zambia.
Second funding round in Uganda is now open
The new Call in Uganda (BGFA5) enables selected energy service providers to accelerate their business growth in Uganda. BGFA financing is made available for standalone solar solutions, mini-/micro-grids and productive use of energy solutions under a single funding window. The indicative individual contract size is expected to be between EUR 1 and EUR 4 million. The application system closes on 4 May 2023 at 12:00 Helsinki time (noon, EEST).
A job creation and skills development sub-programme has been launched in Uganda
The sub-programme will develop the participants’ technical skills, sales skills and business skills and it is expected that the first courses will be arranged in 2023 and that the programme will provide training for up to 300 people.
BGFA welcomes Norway as the latest contributor
It was announced at COP27 that Norway is joining the BGFA programme with EUR 19 million, to support the acceleration of affordable energy access in underserved communities with the focus on supporting the BGFA-selected energy service providers in Burkina Faso, Liberia, Uganda and Zambia. The contribution will support to establish over 400,000 energy service connections by the end of 2027, which will benefit more than 2 million people.
What's behind the successful concept
How did it all start? What makes the BGFA initiative so special? What needs to be taken into account when rolling out a financing programme like BGFA? Watch the video to learn more about the BGFA concept, its impact and how it all started from the actors behind the initiative.
Clean and affordable off-grid energy
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. The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) aims to reduce this gap by stimulating and accelerating the emergency of 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.
Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa forms part of the ‘Power Africa’ initiative launched by former President Barack Obama and contributes to the Sustainable Development Goal 7 as well as the Paris Agreement on Climate. The planned period of implementation is in total six years. The BGFA programme aims, with so far four funding rounds, to establish up to 1.44 million energy connections by 2028, benefiting more than 6.5 million people in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia.
Current funding programmes
The new Call in Uganda (BGFA5) enables selected energy service providers to accelerate their business growth in Uganda. BGFA financing is made available for standalone solar solutions, mini-/micro-grids and productive use of energy solutions under a single funding window. The indicative individual contract size is expected to be between EUR 1 and EUR 4 million. Funds for the second Call in Uganda have been contributed by Denmark and Sweden.
Interested private sector companies are invited to apply for funding under the new Call for Proposals (BGFA5). However, those that were successful in securing financing under the previous funding round in Uganda (BGFA3) are not eligible for funding for similar solutions under the new Call.
The evaluation of the received applications is expected to take place at the end of Q2 and qualified projects will undergo due diligence in autumn 2023.
The Application process
The funding round is open for applications through an online system. The application system will close for submissions of applications on 4 May 2023 at 12:00 (noon, EEST).
The new Call will use a simplified, single stage application process.
Questions and Answers
Applicants are requested to send any questions regarding the call and application process through the online application system by 6 April 2023 at the latest. Answers will be published in a generic form and made available to all registered applicants in the application system on 14 April 2023. Kindly only post questions related to the BGFA5 funding round via the online application system’s support section, as specified in the Application Guidelines.
For further information about the Call for Proposals:
Visit beyondthegrid.africa and register for the online application system to apply for funding at beyondthegrid.africa/register.
Download the Application Guidelines for more information on the application process and eligibility criteria.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (BGFA4)
A first Call for Proposals in the Democratic Republic of Congo closed for applications on 29 August 2022. The Pre-Qualification stage was completed during October 2022. Successful applicants have been invited to a Final Application stage in December 2022.
BGFA4 is expected to offer incentives to off-grid energy service providers to establish up to 110,000 energy connections and some 50 high-tier productive use connections that will benefit more than 500,000 people in DRC. The total financing available under this fourth Call for Proposals is EUR 15 million. The indicative individual contract ticket size per company is expected to be EUR 1-5 million. It is expected that project implementation will start in 2023 and continue until the end of 2027. The BGFA4 funding is provided by Sweden.
The Pre-Qualification stage for the first Call in Uganda (BGFA3) closed for applications on 22 June 2021. BGFA received 30 applications, of which 19 passed the internal completeness check. The Final Application stage was concluded during 2022 and first contracts signed in end of 2022.
The total financing included under this third Call for Proposals is EUR 20.7 million, split into three Funding Lots. The indicative individual contract ticket size per company is expected to be EUR 1.2–4 million depending on the Lot.
The Pre-Qualification stage for the second Call for Proposals Mozambique (BGFA2) closed for new applications on 29 March 2021. BGFA received 17 applications, of which 10 passed the internal completeness check. The aim is to proceed with the Final Application stage during spring 2023.
The expectation is that up to 42,000 off-grid energy service systems (ESSs) will be established during the project implementation period, thus benefiting more than 210,000 people in peri- urban and rural areas. The indicative individual contract ticket size is expected to be EUR 1.5 – 2 million. The energy services are to be implemented during a four-year period with total funding of EUR 6.7 million.
Burkina Faso, Liberia and Zambia (BGFA1)
The Pre-Qualification stage for the first Call for Proposals (BGFA1), for Burkina Faso, Liberia and Zambia closed for applications on 30 November 2020. The Final Application stage was concluded during 2021. In total, 13 projects were contracted during 2022 and further supported projects will be announced in 2023.
In total, some EUR 30 million is offered to qualified, private off-grid energy service providers under three different Country Programmes, with funding opportunities split into a number of Funding Windows and Funding Lots. The contract size is expected to be EUR 1 – 4 million, depending on the target country and individual needs.
The plan is to have some 15 contracts signed under BGFA1 and awarded funds will be disbursed during a four-year period. By 2026, it is expected that up to 700,000 off-grid long-term sustainable energy service subscriptions have been entered into with customers, bringing clean and affordable energy to more than 3.5 million people in peri-urban and rural areas.
Project Implementation Partners
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.
Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa is funded by Sweden, through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Swedish Embassies in the target countries, Denmark, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway through Norad – The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Germany through the KfW Development Bank, and PowerAfrica, an initiative administered by USAID. Nefco is managing the facility and the programme is implemented in cooperation with Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).
Sweden is contributing EUR 80 million (SEK 800 million) for the first expansion into Burkina Faso, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the second phase in Zambia, to the separate expansions into Mozambique and Uganda. Denmark is supporting the expansion into Uganda with an EUR 15.8 million contribution (DKK 117.5 million). Norad is contributing EUR 19 million (NOK 200 million), to support the acceleration of affordable energy access in underserved communities with the focus on supporting the BGFA-selected energy service providers in Burkina Faso, Liberia, Uganda and Zambia. Power Africa is providing an in-kind technical assistance contribution worth approx. EUR 4 million (USD 4.5 million) over three years. Germany, through its development bank KfW, is supporting the Zambian Country Programme with an EUR 7.5 million contribution.
Several other donors have also shown interest in joining the programme. If your institution or organisation is interested in contributing as a donor or supporter to the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa, please contact us.
Go to the Beyond the Grid Fund website >>
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