Global Environment Facility, African Development Bank’s SEFA provide $20 million to expand Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform | African Development Bank

The Board of Directors of African Development Bank Group has approved a US$20 million investment on concessional terms to support the second phase of the Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform (CRP).

The CRP is a blended funding initiative to free up private capital for energy access companies to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic while boosting access to clean power and ensuring a green economic recovery.

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), a multi-donor fund managed by the African Development Bank, will provide $7 million in funding for the expansion; the remaining $13 million comes from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a multilateral environmental fund.

The second phase will help create an additional $70 million in financing for the energy access sector to mitigate the ongoing impact of the pandemic on supply chains, inflation, rising capital costs and the impact of the conflict in Ukraine.

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Alix Graham, Fund Lead of the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund, said: “With concessional SEFA financing under the CRP, the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund was able to offer affordable financing solutions in markets like Malawi and Sierra Leone that benefited businesses around reduce the impact of heightened currency volatility and rising logistics costs.”

She described CRP as a partnership between the development and private sectors that offered innovative financing solutions without distorting the market or crowding out private capital.

The Off-Grid Energy Access Fund is managed by Lion’s Head Global Partners, one of three fund managers who collectively anchored Phase I of the Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform. The other two are Triple Jump and Social Investment Managers and Advisors.

Mark van Doesburgh, Deputy Head of Sustainable Energy at Triple Jump said: “We appreciate the continued support of the African Development Bank to accelerate progress towards SDG 7. Stage energy access companies that remain impacted by Covid-19 and enable the Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund to unleash flexible financing to the sector at a time when venture capital is becoming increasingly scarce.”

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Through CRP partners, energy access companies can access a wide range of flexible debt financing solutions at more favorable terms. To date, over $50 million in soft funding has been approved for 12 energy access companies commercializing and deploying solar home systems, mini-grids, and commercial and industrial solar irrigation solutions.

“This powerful partnership has enabled us to mobilize over $140 million in patient capital to address the unprecedented challenges faced by the energy access industry in recent years and protect progress towards universal access in Africa,” said João Duarte Cunha, manager of the Renewable Energy Funds Division in charge of SEFA at the African Development Bank.

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SEFA is a multi-donor special fund that aims to unlock private sector investment that will help ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services for all, in line with the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa strategy to enable in Africa Sustainable Development Goal 7.


The Global Environment Facility is today the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment. It provides grants for projects in the fields of biodiversity, climate protection, land degradation, chemicals and waste, climate change adaptation and international waters.

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