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The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) was awarded “Power Transaction of the Year” by the East African Power Industry for its role in financing the development of an independent solar hybrid mini-grid project in rural Tanzania. The prize was received at the awards gala on August 27 during its annual convention which gathered about 1,200 industry leaders and professionals in Nairobi, Kenya.
With national electricity coverage estimated at about 21% in Tanzania, at the end of 2014, SEFA approved a preparation grant for joint venture Jumeme - Rural Power Supply Ltd (JRPS) to develop a mini-grid project using predominately solar energy to expand rural electrification in the northwestern part of the country. The first phase of the project intends to help 16 villages – home to 82,000 people in 11,000 households, 2,600 businesses, 42 public offices, 32 schools, 12 health centers and 77 religious buildings – gain access to modern energy services. An additional 500 new businesses are also expected to be created following the implementation of the first phase of the project.
Managing Director of Terra Projects Renewable Energy, Leo Schiefermueller, one of the three partners of the project said, “SEFA is a key partner in the successful implementation of our rural electrification projects in Tanzania which will provide energy services to hundreds of thousands of people in the coming years.”
The awards are meant to highlight companies and executives who have been responsible for pioneering new frontiers, pushing boundaries, inspiring others and achieving growth in turbulent and challenging markets. The “Power Transaction of the Year” award commends sustainable investment in a power project or initiative, recognizing investors, financial institutions and consortiums of distinguished enterprises that have made a major impact on the East African power sector.
In reaction to the award, SEFA Coordinator, Joao Duarte Cunha, stated that, “This achievement is the culmination of the team’s hard work and dedication over the last three years to make SEFA a key initiative on the continent. In addition, the successful partnership with Jumeme is the best possible start for SEFA’s emerging work in clean energy mini-grids.”
Following a call for proposals which closed in July, SEFA launched the first grant phase of a green mini-grid (GMG) market development program which will be implemented by the SE4All (Sustainable Energy for All) Africa Hub. The program will support the efforts of relevant stakeholders such as governments and project developers to create a favorable enabling environment for scaling up mini-grid investment and strengthen the ecosystem for the emergence of a thriving GMG sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.
About SEFA: SEFA is a US $90-million multi-donor facility funded by the governments of Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States. It supports the sustainable energy agenda in Africa through: grants to facilitate the preparation of medium-scale renewable energy generation and energy efficiency projects; equity investments to bridge the financing gap for small- and medium-scale renewable energy generation projects; and support to the public sector to improve the enabling environment for private investments in sustainable energy. SEFA is hosted by the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department of the AfDB.