Switzerland Joins EEP Africa as a New Donor

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) joined the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA Finland) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) as a donor to the Energy and Environment Partnership Trust Fund (EEP Africa) raising combined commitments to the Fund to EUR 50 million.

This new financing commitment of EUR 8.57 million over the next four years from SDC aligns with Switzerland’s International Cooperation Strategy 2021-2024 to prioritise support to mitigating climate change and adapting to its effects in developing countries. SDC aims to expand cooperation with the private sector, considering that its innovative power, expertise and resources are necessary for the implementation of international cooperation.

According to the SDC Regional Director of Cooperation, Manuel Thurnhofer:

Climate change mitigation and adaptation are high priorities in Switzerland’s foreign policy. In particular, Switzerland is committed to the investment in clean energy access, energy-efficient practices and clean energy technology in order to accelerate socio-economic and livelihood advances for the poorest and most vulnerable households. Switzerland believes that supporting companies active in this growing sector also creates jobs and opens up a path to economic growth with a low impact on the environment. Hence the participation in this successful partnership with the EEP provides us with a unique opportunity to contribute to the increased access to clean energy by vulnerable and underserved groups and consolidate our engagement in climate change mitigation in Southern Africa.

This financing is an exceptional instance of country-specific earmarking within the trust fund. The SDC funds will be disbursed to ongoing and future grantees in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Of the 55 projects currently active in the EEP Africa portfolio, there are four projects in Zambia, six in Zimbabwe, and three regional projects with activities partly located in Zambia.

Henrik Franklin, Director of Portfolio Origination and Management at NDF,  says:

NDF is very pleased that Switzerland has joined EEP Africa with a sizeable contribution of EUR 8.6M. This is a vote of confidence in EEP’s approach to invest in early-stage clean energy companies, which are key drivers for building a climate resilient and zero-emission future.

Since 2010, EEP Africa has channelled more than EUR 50 million to more than 270 pioneering projects leveraging innovative clean energy technologies and energy access business models to transform lives and livelihoods with particular focus on the very poor. EEP projects have improved energy access for more than 5 million people and contributed to more than 9,500 new jobs, of which 42% have been for women.

For more information, please visit www.eepafrica.org or get in touch at info@eepafrica.org.

About the Partners

 Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC)

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is Switzerland’s international cooperation agency within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). SDC is responsible for the overall coordination of development activities and cooperation, as well as for the humanitarian aid delivered by the Swiss Confederation.

For more information, please contact harare@eda.admin.ch

Nordic Development Fund (NDF)

The Nordic Development Fund (NDF) is the joint Nordic international finance institution of the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. NDF focuses on the nexus between climate change and development in lower-income countries and countries in fragile situations. Since the introduction of the climate mandate in 2009, NDF has built a track record of adding value by financing climate mitigation and adaptation projects in close interaction with its extensive network of strategic partners. NDF is both Fund Manager and funding partner and led the relaunch EEP Africa as a multi-donor trust fund in 2018.

For more information, please contact Jussi Viding, EEP Africa Fund Manager at jussi.viding@ndf.int.

Sharon Murinda, Senior Regional Programme Officer, and Federique Weyer, Deputy Regional Director of Cooperation, of the Embassy of Switzerland in Zimbabwe recently visited Zonful Energy in Harare. They are joined by EEP Africa Portfolio Coordinator Chiedza Mazaiwana and Zonful’s CEO William Ponela.