EEP Africa Project of the Year 2019: Call for Nominations!

EEP Africa invites nominations (including self-nominations!) for the EEP Africa 2019 Project of the Year. Submit your application by 31 October!

What is the Award?

The EEP Africa Project of the Year Award recognizes outstanding achievement by an EEP Africa portfolio company during 2019.

Shortlisted finalists will be invited to present their business case and achievements in a live pitch session in front of a high level panel at the EEP Africa Knowledge Exchange Forum (KEF) in Arusha, Tanzania on 4 December 2019. Panelists will select a winner at the event.

All shortlisted finalists will be featured prominently in communications materials circulated to a wide audience, and the winner will be awarded a speaking opportunity with travel and accommodation included at the next African Utility Week (AUW) in Cape Town, South Africa in May 2020.

Who is Eligible?

Any project developer that has received financing from EEP Africa, current or past, since 2010

What Do We Look For?

  • Significant, outstanding and verifiable achievement during 2019 in terms of delivery, innovation, impact and/or fundraising
  • Critical lessons learned and a story that needs to be told!

How to Apply?

  • Fill out an application online
  • Include contact information for 3 external references (for example partner, investor, donor)
  • Upload not more than 3 pieces of supporting files (photos, video, brochure) documenting your achievement

Do finalists need be in Arusha in person to compete?

Live pitches by finalists must be in person. EEP Africa will cover flights and two nights of accommodation in Arusha for one representative of each finalist to enable finalists to attend.

DEADLINE: Submit your nomination by 31 October 2019.

EEP Africa Approves 19 New Projects Featuring Women in Clean Energy

11 female CEOs stand out among the 19 clean energy startups, early stage companies and projects at feasibility stage approved by the EEP Africa Innovation Window Investment Committee

The EEP Africa Innovation Window Investment Committee (IC) met in Nairobi, Kenya on 26 September 2019 to approve funding for a new cohort of projects submitted under the latest EEP Africa open call-for-proposals: “Promoting Gender Inclusion, Female Leadership and Opportunities for Women across the Clean Energy Sector in Southern and East Africa.”

The IC was chaired by Mr. Aleksi Lumijärvi, Program Manager at the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and included Ms. Anu Hassinen, Senior Policy Advisor at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and Ms. Nishdeep Sethi, Deputy Head of Structured Finance and Products at the Africa Guarantee Fund (AGF).

Ms. Sethi joined the IC as an independent member, enhancing synergies within the NDF portfolio of climate finance activities and building a linkage to the new joint initiative of AGF and the African Development Bank (AfDB), Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), announced recently at the 2019 G7 Summit in Biarritz. The planned USD 200 million initiative will catalyze access to finance for women entrepreneurs in Africa and holds potential to link closely to women-owned and women-led companies in the EEP Africa clean energy portfolio.

Ambassador Christian Fellner, Austria’s Ambassador to Kenya and Permanent Representative to the UN in Nairobi, joined the opening session of the IC meeting and endorsed the strong focus on women, sustainable jobs and private sector led green growth.

“Having now chaired two investment committee rounds under EEP Africa, I am pleased to see continuous evolution and improvements in process and quality,” said NDF Program Manager and Investment Committee Chair, Aleksi Lumijärvi. “We were able to approve a broadly diversified portfolio of 19 projects, all strongly aligned with the core EEP Africa mandate to support early stage clean energy innovation while also enhancing our focus on women and women leadership.”

This was the 15th call-for-proposals (CfP15) under EEP Africa since 2010 and the first call with a specific theme. The call attracted 285 applications and a combined financing request of EUR 97 million. The applications included a diverse set of innovative business models covering 12 different clean energy technologies and 14 countries.

“We already knew that women are leading the clean energy transition in Africa and now we can point to an EEP Africa portfolio that says the same thing,” said EEP Africa Fund Manager and NDF Program Manager, Charles Wetherill, “11 out of 19 new portfolio companies are led by female CEOs, and all 19 feature unique dimensions on engaging women in clean energy design, delivery and use.”

The motivation for a themed call-for-proposals featuring women in the clean energy sector stems from earlier knowledge work and EEP Africa analysis of its own portfolio which resulted in a major study released in 2017: Understanding the Role of Women and Girls in Renewable and Energy-Efficiency Projects. One of the core findings from the study was that “women and girls stand to benefit the most from the availability of sustainable, affordable and renewable energy sources.”

Further insights on the clean energy market demand stemming from the applications to this latest EEP Africa call can be accessed here: Promoting Women in Clean Energy: Insights from 285 EEP Africa Applications.

Photo credit: Agsol

EEP Africa is a clean energy financing facility hosted and managed by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) with funding from Austria, Finland and NDF. It provides early stage grant and catalytic debt financing to innovative clean energy projects, technologies and business models in Southern and East Africa.

Market Report: Clean Energy Financing Demand

EEP Africa received a total of 530 applications in its 14th Call for Proposals (CfP14). This was five times the average number of applications received in previous calls, demonstrating the high demand for early stage financing in the clean energy sector.

The applications covered a wide variety of project types, technologies and geographical areas. Collectively, they offer an overview of the state of the market and emerging trends in the renewable energy sector in Southern and East Africa.

Based on the information received in this call, EEP Africa has produced a Market Report: Clean Energy Financing Demand with observations and insights from CfP14. These will strengthen EEP Africa’s operations and help other donors and investors in the sector ensure their strategies are responsive to market needs.

Key Conclusions:

  • Grant funding is needed to de-risk innovation, leverage private sector investment.
  • Solar PV is dominant but sustainable business models are developing in other technologies.
  • Mini-grids are focusing on productive uses of en­ergy to improve financial viability.
  • Technological risks are decreasing but risks in the operating environment remain challenging.
  • Significant effort is needed to expand opportuni­ties for women as leaders and entrepreneurs.

Download a copy of the full report.