GE Africa, the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have extended additional $1.1 million to 11 companies in Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Ethiopia to support power Africa initiative.
Power Africa is one of President Obama’s signature policies for Africa- a partnership-based effort to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 600 million people still lack basic access to electricity.
Each of the 11 winners has been apportioned a grant of up to $100,000 to expand their renewable energy solutions and reach those currently not served by the grid.
Among the winning projects include 5 solar systems, 3 biogas generation projects, and a small hydro-electricity power plant, providing over 10,000 people with electricity- it translates to $100 per person invested for off-grid solutions.
The Off-Grid Energy Challenge, part of the Beyond the Grid Initiative and funded by GE Africa, USADF and USAID, promotes innovative solutions that increase access to reliable, affordable and sustainable power.
The $ 5 Million, three-year, Challenge will award 50 or more grants of up to $100,000 each to African companies providing off-grid solutions that deploy renewable resources and power economic activities.
These energy entrepreneurs are finding solutions for rural communities to access power, including solar-powered mini-grids, home solar systems and revolving credit funds.
In Kenya, Ambalian Company will install a wind turbine in one of northern Kenya’s rural communities to replace diesel-powered generators used currently to pump water, and will use the installation to roll out the fabrication of its own local-content wind turbine components.
Rafode, a local Kenyan microfinance organization, will provide credit to fisherman in the Lake Victoria region to purchase solar lamps, thereby boosting the catch from their traditional night time fishing.
Nigeria’s, Ajima Farms is developing a major biogas plant to provide electricity to homes and businesses currently living off the grid.