Acumen a US-based company that promotes universal energy access on Monday, December 4 launched the Hardest to Reach initiative of $250 million at the SDG7 pavilion at COP28 to help activate clean energy markets in Africa.
The world’s biggest climate fund is backing Acumen, in establishing a funding facility. The fund will bring electricity from off-grid solar projects to 72 million people in Africa.
The project aims to cover countries that have an electrification rate of less than 46%. They include Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Sierra Leone, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.
Likewise, the fund will target 506 million people not connected to electrical grids.
More so, this new initiative will uplift sub-Saharan countries with low electrification. Additionally it will also reduce high poverty rates. This will be done by supporting off-grid solar companies through flexible, impact-first financing.
At the same time, the initiative will also receive funding from USAID’s Power Africa program. Likewise, philanthropist and hedge fund manager Christopher Hohn, the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet and South Korea’s Shinhan Bank Company will also fund the program.
The initiative is part of a drive by a number of companies to tackle’s Africa’s lack of electrification. The companies are providing solutions ranging from solar-powered mini-grids to the sale of home solar systems. The project can be paid off in installments using payments by mobile phone in some of Africa’s most remote areas.
The Idea is also to head off future emissions of climate-warming gases as the proportion of Africans with access to electricity grows.
Currently, Acumen has already begun to make loans under the program. Some countries such as Sierra Leone have already attracted funding.
The new project is critical in achieving universal energy access.