SEFA and WAFCEF partners gather in Ghana to present best clean energy entrepreneurs in West Africa

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The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), a multi-donor initiative administered by the African Development Bank (AfDB), will participate at the West Africa Clean Energy Finance Forum (WAFCEF) to recognize the finalist entrepreneurs identified throughout 2013 by a team from the various event co-sponsors: Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN) and the Regional Clean Energy Investment Initiative (RCEII) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), West African Development Bank (BOAD), and the African Biofuels and Renewable Energy Company (ABREC). WAFCEF will take place on October 8 as part of the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Investment Week that will run from October 8-10 in Accra, Ghana.

WAFCEF is the final stage of a business plan competition launched in March 2013 by the above partners including SEFA. The contest entails the presentation of five to 10 qualified project sponsors that will have the opportunity to present their business plans to potential investors and make a pitch for financing. Therefore, the goal is to identify the most promising business ideas and unlock renewable energy and energy efficiency investment in West Africa. An expert panel, including investors, industry specialists and business executives interested in sustainable energy projects in West Africa will select three projects for the WAFCEF Awards. The names confirmed so far include, Leo Blyth (IFC, Lighting Africa Initiative), Musa Salah (EcoBank), Godfrey Mwindaare (Acumen Fund West Africa), Joseph Adelegan (EBID), and Sander Smits van Oyen (SOVEC).

This initiative will bring together entrepreneurs, companies, investors and venture capital funds, among other relevant stakeholders, with the objective of facilitating investment mobilization across the sector in the ECOWAS region. “The Forum will provide an excellent opportunity to showcase both the regional clean energy potential as well as the ingenuity of West African entrepreneurs. It will also do so to an audience of project financiers, a key element for success. Catalyzing these relationships is at the heart of SEFA’s mandate,” said Joao Duarte Cunha, SEFA Coordinator at the African Development Bank.

About the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA): SEFA is a multi-donor facility to support the sustainable energy agenda in Africa, operating through three components: (i) grants to facilitate the preparation of medium-scale renewable energy generation and energy efficiency projects, (ii) equity investments to bridge the financing gap for small and medium scale renewable energy generation projects, and (iii) support to public sector in improving the enabling environment for private investments in sustainable energy. SEFA is endowed with US $60 million from the Governments of Denmark and United States and hosted by the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department of the AfDB.