BGFA launches US$15 funding round for off-grid renewable energy solutions in DRC

DRC – The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) is launching a €15 million (US$15.99m) funding round to support electrification through off-grid renewable energy solutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Off-grid solar energy providers operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have the opportunity to receive funding to accelerate their activities.

 Managed by the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), this multi-donor financing facility has been implementing a US$107 million programme since 2019 to support access to electricity from renewable sources in sub-Saharan Africa.

The funding round launched in the DRC is supported by Sweden, through the financial arm of its diplomacy, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

The initiative aims to accelerate the entry and development of commercially viable businesses in the DRC, with a focus on underserved communities.

The funding round will support suppliers of solar home systems, solar-powered mini-grids and other solar-powered productive devices.

“The market survey undertaken in spring 2022 confirmed the acute need for access to electricity in the DRC, with very limited affordability of off-grid energy solutions in most parts of the country,” explains Dennis Hamro-Drotz, Senior Programme Manager at NEFCO.

As part of this round of funding for the DRC, the financial institution plans to launch a call for proposals on 21 June 2022 to select future beneficiaries.

This will be the fourth call for expressions of interest by the BGFA in sub-Saharan Africa. The most recent was launched in May 2021 in Uganda, with US$20.7 million in funding for the electrification of 3 million people. In the DRC, the funding round will accelerate electrification.

With an estimated population of nearly 90 million, this central African country has an electricity access rate of less than 20% according to the World Bank’s 2020 report.

According to Power Africa, less than 10% of the DR Congolese living in rural areas have access to electricity.

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