Mini-grid deployments scaling up access to clean electricity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) has signed a new agreement with a company in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to establish a new mini-grid, which will provide access to clean energy in the northeastern part of the country. The implemented project will provide access to electricity for residential, commercial and institutional customers in peri-urban and urban areas.

The latest BGFA agreement has been signed with Nuru Société par Actions Simplifée Unipersonnelle (Nuru SASU) to scale up the development of new mini-grids, or metro-grids as Nuru refers to them. In total, up to EUR 5 million in results-based financing will be provided from BGFA to the project. It is expected that the investment will mobilise EUR 28 million in additional co-financing over the coming four years.

Nuru SASU, which means light in Swahili, is a company focused on providing clean energy solutions in underserved peri-urban and urban communities in the DRC. The company deployed the country’s first commercial solar-based mini-grid in 2017. To date, Nuru has delivered over 7,700 MWh of energy through the deployment of four metro-grids.

“BGFA’s results-based financing has been instrumental in securing new equity and project financing to develop our new metro-grid in Bunia. Together, we will bring power to over 125,000 people and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 8,000 metric tonnes by the end of the project implementation. We are grateful to partner with BGFA, which recognises the significant energy gap in the DRC and the multi-decade transformation that Nuru’s renewable energy infrastructure can bring to the country in cities like Bunia,” says Jonathan E. Shaw, Co-Founder and CEO of Nuru

The BGFA project will support the development and deployment of an 8 MW solar mini-grid in Bunia, the capital of the Ituri province in northeastern DRC. The project aims to power up to 10,500 residential, commercial and social institutions. One of the primary goals is to electrify and service at least 3,400 small and medium-sized businesses in the region. Additionally, the project will supply electricity to critical infrastructure and social institutions, such as telecom towers, water treatment and distribution services, schools and healthcare facilities. The mini-grid is expected to deliver up to 14,785 MWh annually, improving the lives of more than 125,000 people living in the community.

“By supporting Nuru to further develop and deploy mini-grids in the DRC, we are able to support the scale-up of electricity access to people living in peri-urban areas, thereby supporting social development, economic growth and the green transition in Northern DRC,” comments Aleksandra Reskalenko, Programme Officer at Nefco.

The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa has so far contracted three companies in the DRC. In total, it has contracted 29 companies across Burkina Faso, the DRC, Liberia, Uganda and Zambia. Once implemented, the current programme portfolio will have the potential to reach more than 8.6 million people across these five countries. The BGFA funding window in the DRC is funded by Sweden.

For further information, please contact:

Aleksandra Reskalenko, Programme Officer at Nefco, +358 10 6180 490

Kyle Hamilton, Senior Manager of Strategy and Partnerships at Nuru, +1 225 456 6680

About Nuru SASU

Nuru, which means ‘light’ in Kiswahili, seeks to provide energy to unlock the incredible human potential in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. By delivering world-class energy services, Nuru aims to empower 10 million Congolese people. Headquartered in Goma, Nuru has been at the forefront of transforming the DRC’s energy landscape since it was founded in 2015. Read more at

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 is a development and engineering consultancy company headquartered in Denmark. 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 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: Nuru’s 1.3 MW generation site located in Goma, DRC – Nuru SASU

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