IFC commits to support clean tech startups to boost solar energy uptake in Egypt

EGYPT —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has committed to support clean technology startups in Egypt to help boost solar energy uptake in the country.

IFC in a statement said that it is joining forces with the National Bank of Egypt and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) to help strengthen clean-energy focused startups in Egypt.

According to IFC, start-ups make up the bulk of players in the photovoltaic (PV) solar water pumping market in Egypt.

IFC however noted that these startups are currently unable to scale up because of a lack of payment and finance options for customers, and a limited understanding of the sector.

“Egypt’s start-ups have identified major untapped potential for the use of solar amongst farmers,” said IFC’s Country Manager for Egypt, Walid Labadi.

“Our aim is to unlock this potential by supporting entrepreneurs and financial institutions in developing innovative business models that will boost the adoption of clean technology in the country.”

The multilateral finance agency said that it’s specialized team will deliver technical assistance to four financial institutions to help develop an affordable financial product for farmers.

According to IFC, the National Bank of Egypt, and MSMEDA will be part of the financial institutions that it will work with.

“Through our partnership with IFC, MSMEDA will deepen its understanding of solar irrigation systems and develop a financial product for farmers to purchase solar irrigation pumps,” said Nevine Gamea, Minister of Trade and Industry, and Executive President of MSMEDA.

Gamea added that not only can farmers use a clean and free source of energy, but they can also irrigate more land and increase their production.

IFC’s specialized team according to the statement, will also help the Egyptian Finance institutions in the financial product piloting and roll out. 

Around 960,000 diesel-powered water pumps are currently used for irrigation across Egypt, at a cost of about $250 million annually for the diesel, according to IFC.

IFC noted that replacing the pumps with PV systems would save farmers money in fuel and maintenance and help create a cleaner environment.

According to Gamea, IFC’s initiative is in line MSMEDA strategy in exploring new feasible financial products that are environmentally friendly and using clean technology.

The Solar Uptake project is being implemented by IFC in partnership with the governments of Denmark, Korea and Netherlands.

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