The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) approved seven high-impact projects worth $54 million in 2020, marking it as the best year despite the Covid-19 pandemic. This is according to its recently released 2020 Annual Report.
Launched in 2011 under the management of the African Development Bank, SEFA focuses on green baseload, green mini-grid, and energy efficiency investments. In October 2019, the Fund morphed into a Special Fund.
The report, themed: Building Foundations for Success also documents the Fund’s success in attracting increased donor funding.
In 2020 alone, SEFA received commitments valued at $90 million from current and new donors including the German Ministry for Development Cooperation and the Nordic Development Fund, both of which joined the Fund in 2020.
With a focus on four key areas: strategic priorities and instruments; key achievements in 2020, the report gives an overview of SEFA’s legacy (2012-2019) portfolio.
It also looks ahead to SEFA’s key priorities for 2021 in a bid to transform it into the leading catalytic finance facility in the sustainable energy space for the African continent.
“SEFA’s potential was duly recognized, with the year culminating in a strong endorsement by the Fund’s donors,” AfDB’s Power, Energy, Climate & Green Growth Vice President Dr. Kevin Kariuki, noted.
He said that the additional resources will help SEFA position itself as the leading proponent of Africa’s energy transition and energy access agendas in accord with the Bank’s New Deal for Energy in Africa.
Commendably, during the ravaging outbreak of the pandemic, the Fund responded swiftly by launching its COVID-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform to provide recovery capital to energy access enterprises.
The report highlights the provision of catalytic investments in the Spark+ Clean Cooking Fund, the first Africa-focused investment fund to support the clean cooking sector as well as the Africa Renewable Energy Fund II, a private equity initiative to develop and invest in baseload renewable energy solutions involving hybrid renewable energy projects as well as battery storage.
The Bank’s acting Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Dr. Daniel Schroth, said:
“SEFA’s role in supporting innovative solar initiatives in the decentralized renewable energy space led to the African Development Bank receiving the Development Finance Institution of the Year award by the Africa Solar Industry Association in 2020.
SEFA is working on an exciting pipeline of new opportunities across all three focus areas for 2021 and beyond.”