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USADF, All-On partner to promote off-grid energy solutions

The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and All-On, an indigenous company, are partnering to promote the use of renewable off-grid energy technologies to reach communities not served by existing power grids in Nigeria.

solar panels
Off-grid energy: An array of solar panels

Mr C. D. Glin, the President/CEO of USADF, told journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 that the All-On/USADF collaboration would co-finance innovative Nigerian off-grid energy companies to boost renewable energy development in Nigeria communities.

Glin said the three-year partnership would empower up to 30 indigenous companies in the country to champion the project.

According to him, under the partnership, the USADF would provide $50,000 in seed capital while All-On also provides $50,000 in convertible debt to each of the selected energy enterprises in the first year.

“Another set of companies will also enjoy same privileges in the second year and later in the third year,’’ Glin said.

He said the USADF would develop local content in the Nigeria power sector and boost local company’s participation in enhancing the use of renewable energy in the country.

He said that the $50,000 grant would take care of the risk associated with new businesses.

“However, to ensure effective management of resources, the beneficiaries will also receive technical assistance from USADF and governance support from All-On.

“We are proud to partner with All-On to foster the growth of local enterprises to bring power and connectivity to underserved Nigerians.

“This partnership combines grant capital with private sector funding to support the selected Nigerian energy enterprises to grow their businesses, increase access to power and change people’s lives,’’ Glin said.

According to him, USADF is an independent U.S. government agency, established by Congress to support African-owned community and social enterprises which improve lives and livelihoods in underserved communities.

He said the foundation also target utilising a community-led development approach.

Glin added that USADF invests by directly providing seed capital and local project management assistance to early-stage enterprises to address local challenges like food security, energy access and women and youth.

According to him, USADF annually grants assistance for enterprise development and expansion to generate approximately $100 million in new local economic activity throughout Africa’s Sahel, Horn and Great Lakes regions, reducing poverty, creating peace and economic stability and putting millions on a pathway to prosperity.

Dr Wiebe Boer, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian based All-On, an off-grid energy impact investment company backed by Shell, said: “The biggest challenge hindering Nigeria’s economic and social development is access to energy.

“These off-grid energy companies are introducing innovations that will improve household livelihoods and local economies by providing affordable power to unserved and underserved communities.

“We are proud to partner with USADF to provide an innovative blend of financing to these companies to enable them to scale up and meet the increasing demand.’’

Boer said that All-On is an independent impact investing company, seeded with funding from Shell.

It works with partners to increase access to commercial energy products and services for off-grid energy markets in Nigeria, with a special focus on the Niger Delta.

The Managing Director of Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Ms Damilola Ogunbiyi, commended the partners for the innovations they brought to off-grid energy support.

“This is a remarkable initiative that demonstrates what we already know.

“That private sector is taking a solution-driven role, is the only way to provide sustainable power solutions for Nigerians.

“The Federal Government, through the REA is currently replicating this model of private sector driven power projects through the Nigerian off-grid electrification strategy,’’ Ogunbiyi said.

The beneficiary companies include Havenhill, Prado, Solmenz, Darway Coast, de Auxano, Eastwind, Alyx, Creeds and iKabin.

By Yunus Yusuf

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