EAST AFRICA: KawiSafi raises $70 million to expand solar off grid

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EAST AFRICA: KawiSafi raises $70 million to expand solar off grid©Helene Munson/Shutterstock

KawiSafi Ventures, an investment fund that finances companies specialising in off-grid solar energy, has raised $70 million for projects in East Africa. The financial mobilisation was carried out through Acumen Capital Partners, an organisation that invests in sustainable and socially responsible companies.

New financing is flowing into the off-grid solar sector in East Africa. For example, $70 million was raised by KawiSafi Ventures, an investment fund that finances off-grid solar companies. The funds were raised thanks to Acumen Capital Partners, an organisation that invests in sustainable and socially responsible companies.

The $70 million was collected from the United Nations (UN) Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Skoll Foundation and two American businessmen, Steve Jurvetson and Chris Anderson. “In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 600 million people currently live without electricity and spend $17 billion a year on polluting and inefficient energy,” says Acumen. It adds that KawiSafi aims to provide clean and affordable energy to 10 million people, half of whom live in poverty. The money raised will also be used to avoid the emission of one million tonnes of CO2 into the environment over the next ten years.

Deployment of KawiSafi in East Africa

In Swahili, a language spoken in several countries in East Africa, KawiSafi means “clean energy”. The company, which has taken on local brands, has already invested $21 million to provide electricity to 4.3 million people. Through its investments, the fund has helped to avoid 360,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions into the environment.

KawiSafi has invested in d.light, a company that manufactures and distributes a wide range of solar products. The company also focused on the deployment of solar kits provided by the young British company Bboxx. Its ambition is to distribute its home-solar systems to 20 million people, both in slums and in the countryside, by 2020.

Redavia Solar, a subsidiary of the German company Redavia, also received funds from KawiSafi. Redavia provides containerised mini-grids to businesses, businesses and communities in rural areas.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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