BGFA in 2023: Over one million lives impacted so far

Established clean energy access through the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) programme in 2023 is benefitting 1,500 African businesses and impacting a total of 1.2 million lives across five Sub-Saharan African countries.

In 2023, the implementation of the BGFA programme advanced strongly, demonstrating good progress against several monitored key indicators. Approx. 210,600 energy service subscriptions were provided, bringing total subscriptions up to 240,700 by the end of the year. This has benefitted over 1,500 African businesses, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises generating 6,500 MWh of clean electricity, reducing 15,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions and impacting a total of 1.2 million lives.

“By supporting the scale-up of long-term self-sustaining off-grid energy markets, BGFA illuminates pathways to better living standards and broadens opportunities for growth and development. This initiative demonstrates the transformative power of electricity in uplifting lives, improving education, bridging information divides and stimulating economic prosperity. In essence, BGFA is not just about providing energy, it is about empowering communities and paving the way for a brighter and more equitable future,” comments Adam Öjdahl, Chair of the BGFA Steering Committee.

The BGFA programme had built a project portfolio of 25 companies by the end of 2023, to which it has committed EUR 54.8 million in results-based financing for the establishment of a total of 1.7 million energy service subscriptions. These BGFA investees are seeking to mobilise EUR 32 million in additional funding for the projects by the end of the programme implementation. In total, 8.6 million people are expected to receive access to clean energy solutions once the projects are implemented.

In 2023, 12 companies were contracted across five Sub-Saharan countries with EUR 29.8 million in committed funding. These projects are expected to establish 776,000 new energy service subscriptions in the coming four years, which have the potential to provide clean solar based energy for 3.8 million people in rural areas of Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Uganda and Zambia.

“BGFA’s core mission is to expand affordable, clean energy access in rural Africa, a key driver for social economic advancement. We continue to support this objective and have achieved several significant milestones during the year. At year end, the BGFA had impacted over one million people, with strong outcomes in five of the country portfolios. The fund has also surpassed EUR 11 million in cumulative disbursements to the portfolio companies, representing much needed financing against the backdrop of an increasingly difficult funding environment and ongoing macroeconomic challenges in the target countries,” says Ash Sharma, Head of BGFA and Vice President for Special Funds at Nefco.

During 2023, a monitoring, evaluation and learning framework was developed and the establishment of institutional support activities began in all BGFA countries. This institutional support is an important element of the programme that aims to improve conditions for the off-grid energy service market, deploying a combination of capacity building and technical assistance, stakeholder outreach and market intelligence.

For further information about the Annual Results Report 2023:

Visit and read the Annual Results Report 2023 or download the report for printing

For further information, please contact:

Petra Mikkolainen, Senior Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Manager at Nefco, +358106180588

Kari Hämekoski, Senior Programme Manager at Nefco, +358 10 618 0660

Lia Oker-Blom, Senior Communications Officer at Nefco, +358 10 618 0671

About BGFA

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 and fund management. BGFA is implemented by Nefco, with the support of two project implementation partners: NIRAS, a development and engineering consultancy company headquartered in Denmark and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral partnership based in Vienna, Austria.

The current EUR 126 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 funded by Denmark through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Germany through its development bank KfW, Norway through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation Norad and Sweden. Power Africa, an initiative administered by USAID, is providing an in-kind technical assistance contribution. Read more at

Photo: Female tomato farmer in Kabwe, Zambia, cultivating and irrigating the land with an off-grid solar-powered water pump.

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