Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) is now launching its first Call for Proposals (BGFA1) inviting interested off-grid energy companies to compete for funding with the aim of engaging them to develop new sustainable businesses and thereby accelerate access to affordable and clean off-grid energy at scale for customers in peri-urban and rural areas of Burkina Faso, Liberia and Zambia.
BGFA is a results-based funding facility established to incentivise the private energy sector to provide affordable clean, high quality off-grid energy services to underserved people in rural and peri-urban areas in Sub-Saharan African countries.
BGFA has been initiated and is presently financed by Sweden. It is expected that Germany (represented by KfW on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development [BMZ]) will shortly join and make available additional funding under the BGFA1 Country Programme in Zambia. Power Africa, an initiative administered by USAID, is providing an in-kind technical assistance contribution to BGFA. Other donors have shown interest in joining the BGFA programme for expansion into new Sub-Saharan African countries.
BGFA1 is targeted at incentivising private energy companies to accelerate access to off-grid modern and affordable energy.
Further information on the Pre-Qualification eligibility criteria and minimum requirements can be found in the attached BGFA1 Pre-Qualification Guidelines.
Nature of Financing
The BGFA1 approach provides direct, results-based financing to energy service providers to unlock early structural challenges in the off-grid market, build business and investor confidence and proactively mobilise various types of downstream investment and debt financing.
The expectation is that up to 700,000 off-grid ESSs will be established during the project implementation period, thus benefiting more than 3.5 million people in peri-urban and rural areas. The indicative individual contract ticket size is expected to be EUR 1 – 4 million, depending on the country.
Applicants and project proposals will be evaluated in two stages:
I. Pre-Qualification stage (this phase); and
II. the Final Application stage.
The current invitation calls for Pre-Qualification applications. Only Applicants of project proposals passing the Pre-Qualification stage will be invited to submit a full application during the Final Application stage.
Pre-Qualification applications should be submitted online at the latest by 30 October 2020 at 16:00 hrs Helsinki Time (UTC +2 hrs) (‘Closing time). The online intake system and related guidance is accessible via www.beyondthegrid.africa and the application forms in the online system will be open from 15 September at 14:00 hrs Helsinki Time (UTC +3 hrs).
Registration and additional information
All communication relating to the Pre-Qualification process will be made to Applicants via the online application intake system, SmartME. It is strongly recommended that Applicants wishing to submit project proposals for pre-qualification register on this application platform at the earliest opportunity.
Questions relating to the Pre-Qualification phase can be submitted until 5 October 2020 at 16:00 hrs Helsinki Time (UTC +3 hrs) as set out on the intake system. Applicants will be requested to post questions only via the SmartME intake system. Questions and answers will be made available to all Applicants in a redacted form on 13 October 2020.
Read more in the attached Invitation Letter and Pre-Qualification guidelines. More information on the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa here.