The African Development Bank (AfDB) recently announced new donor commitments for its Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), of up to $90million.
In a virtual launch event attended on Monday by over 300 development partners, financiers, representatives of African governments and energy sector institutions, project developers and sponsors, commercial banks and infrastructure bonds; SEFA’s transformation into a special fund was unveiled.
It was also an occasion for SEFA donors to reaffirm their support for the Fund’s institutional priorities.
During the event, Denmark, SEFA’s founding partner and first donor, unveiled DKK 65 million ($10.65 million) in fresh commitments, while it was also revealed that Germany and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) became SEFA donors in 2020.
Germany extended €50 million ($60.97 million) to support SEFA’s green baseload activities, in order to promote more sustainable baseload power generation options and prevent countries from locking themselves into environmentally damaging and potentially economically costly technologies.
Other significant funding came from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, which has committed 75 million Swedish Krona ($8.98 million). The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom also affirmed their continued support for SEFA.
What they are saying
Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Mr. Flemming Møller Mortensen, represented by Stephan Schönemann, Under-Secretary for Development Policy with the Danish government stated that,
- “Denmark has the development goal of providing clean energy to 5.8 million people in Africa. SEFA has proven that it has the capacity to implement innovative renewable energy projects – even in difficult circumstances. Therefore, Denmark is a close partner with SEFA – and we are pleased to be able to continue the work of providing clean energy to all.”
Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation (BMZ) submitted that:
- “Climate change is advancing fast and knows no borders, we can only tackle it together and in solidarity. For many years, the African Development Bank is a trusted partner for Germany and one of the most important driving forces behind a structured energy transition in Africa.”
NDF Managing Director, Karin Isaakson, announcing a €10 million ($12.19 million) commitment, noted that:
- “SEFA’s proven capability to promote early-stage projects, businesses, and markets, as well as to design and implement new and innovative financing structures and mobilize additional funding, fits well with NDF’s strategic pathways. We look forward to identifying opportunities to co-create new climate finance instruments together with SEFA.”
Dr. Kevin Kariuki, African Development Bank Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, acknowledged the key role the fund has played in building African market, as well as its centrality to the Bank’s strategic vision. He said:
- “I am indeed very proud to observe that SEFA is a key enabler of the New Deal on Energy for Africa, a partnership-driven goal to ensure Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy for All, launched by the African Development Bank in 2016.”
Why this matters
The $90 million donor funds will be utilized in expanding, making Africa’s fast-changing energy market more flexible and responsive, with a sharper focus on green mini-grids and green baseload, as well as offer a wider array of catalytic finance instruments.
What you know
- SEFA is managed by the Bank, and is a special fund providing catalytic finance for renewable energy, with the goal of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy services for all Africans.
- The Fund was established in 2011 in partnership with the Danish government. The governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and most recently Germany and the NDF are donors.
- Notable achievements include the Africa Renewable Energy Fund, the Facility for Energy Inclusion and the Green Mini-Grid Market Development Programme.
- SEFA has also supported various developers in bringing their projects to fruition and advised countries on designing innovative renewable energy and energy access programmes.