The Energy Access Fund is an impact fund set up at the initiative of Schneider Electric to invest in access to electricity for rural and semi-urban communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Context

625 million inhabitants in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity, which hinders social progress and economic development and damages the environment. Energy Access Ventures Fund aims to provide sustainable support to the development of access to energy for the most disadvantaged communities, by strengthening local energy systems. 
 
In terms of economic development and social and environmental impact, the lack of access to a reliable source of electricity reduces both productivity and the quality of life of communities. The lack of lighting also limits the ability of people to carry out activities at night or at dawn (small shops, handicrafts, reading, housework or schoolwork). 
 

Description

The project supports companies which generally do not have access to the traditional range of financing. It is initially being implemented in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
 
In addition to the financing, various technical assistance programs are providing support to local companies for their management, governance, energy efficiency and good environmental practices policies. 

The fund provides the companies selected with: 

  • Qualified professionals made available by Schneider-Electric, (engineers, procurement specialists, marketing experts, study managers), who support local companies and share their skills in order to strengthen existing human capital;
  • An evaluation of the social and environmental impacts of their activity, with the aim of limiting their impact on the environment;
  • Technical assistance by assisting them with subjects such as international regulations; 
  • Expertise in decision-making, in order to focus their investments on the most effective projects. 
     
Impacts

The fund invests in equity in SMEs that promote solutions for access to low-carbon and low-cost electricity for rural and peri-urban communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. It also actively contributes to improving access to energy for these communities, to the economic development of the regions in question, and to the preservation of the global environment.
 
Objectives

  • Provide 1,750,000 low-income people in rural and semi-urban areas with reliable access to electricity, and achieve a gross internal rate of return for the fund of at least 8%. 
  • Contribute to the local, economic and social development of the country via investments which fit in with the local regulatory frameworks for rural electrification and the socioeconomic development initiatives of national and local authorities. 
  • Preserve the global environment, by promoting access to clean and renewable energies, thereby reducing and avoiding GHG emissions, placing emphasis on the best practices for the management of environmental impacts throughout the lifecycle of the technologies used, with a focus on waste treatment. 
01/01/2015
Project start date
31/12/2025
Project end date
03/12/2014
Project grant date
10 ans
Duration of funding
Harare
location
financing tool
37 000 000 EUR
Amount of the program
2 000 000
EUR
Amount of FFEM funding
In progress
Status
Access Ventures  
Beneficiaries
Ministère de l'Economie et des Finances
Institution responsible
Proparco-FISEA
Schneider Electric
CDC
Co-financiers

Dominique Richard, chef de projet

richardd@afd.fr