The African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), an investment fund set up by the British government has announced a new investment of $20 million to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups in five African countries.
Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Somalia are the selected countries for the React Household Solar Round 2 competition.
AECF intends to organize competitions in these five countries to reward small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups specializing in the supply of solar home systems.
The selected small businesses in the five countries will receive a total of $20.8 million in the form of interest-free loans, grants and technical assistance.
According to Daniel Ohonde, CEO of AECF, solar home systems are a simple solution that does not appear in macroeconomic statistics and yet “they have the potential to transform the lives of millions of schoolchildren.”
He said the deployment of solar systems on a house-wide scale is making huge progress as technology costs fall, innovation in deployment and financing models accelerates and a more diverse set of stakeholders, including local entrepreneurs, as well as the international private sector and financial institutions, engage in the sector.
As a reminder, AECF is a $250m challenge fund that awards grants and repayable grants to private sector companies.