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Power Africa

More than two-thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity. Universal energy access is a key to achieving the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, but a huge financial gap is a crucial obstacle.

Power Africa contributes to the electrification of sub-Saharan Africa

Sweden supports the Power Africa initiative to bridge the financial gap and double electricity access for millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa is a partnership between the public and private sector that started in 2013. It aims to increase electricity access and solve Africa’s energy crisis.

Universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is one of the Global Goals. This goal is also essential to be able to meet several of the other goals.

One billion people have no access to energy

One billion people across the world live without access to energy. Solving this will require a sharp increase in energy access investments. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 600 million people, that is 70% of the population, lack access to electricity and clean cooking.

Public funding alone cannot bridge the financial gap and secure universal electricity access. It must be complemented with private financing.

Sida supports innovative methods to mobilise capital

Sweden’s support through Sida has for a long time focused on grant-funded investments in rural electrification, capacity building, and energy sector reform. Since 2015 the strategy includes new innovative methods to mobilising capital for private investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency in sub-Saharan Africa.

En man står i en butik och håller i solceller.
Foto: Jason J Mulikita
Our strategy
Sweden participates in Power Africa since 2014. We focus on increasing electricity access from renewable sources and energy efficiency in sub-Saharan Africa by mobilising capital for private investments. Our goal is 1 billion USD in 10 years (2015-2024).
Foto: Jason J Mulikita
Africa - a market for energy services
There are great opportunities for energy service companies in sub-Saharan Africa. The market for off-grid energy and energy efficiency is huge. Innovative solutions play an important role in overcoming energy poverty.
Foto: Jason J Mulikita
Change and results
The number of Swedish strategies that include energy has since 2015 increased from 3 to 14 and access to renewable energy is growing. The efforts with new innovative methods are showing results and the different initiatives complement each other.

Power Africa methods

Sida uses several methods to support development of bankable projects and support renewable energy access-companies to become eligible for long-term debt financing. Different types of capital and funding are used at different stages in their business lifecycle.

Concept papers on selected projects

Examples of partners and programmes

Africa Electricity Grids Explorer
The Africa Electricity Grids Explorer by the World Bank shows electricity access in Africa.

Support private sector efforts to supply energy to rural communities in Africa.

Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia
Aims to increase energy access to one million Zambians by 2021, improve livelihoods, catalyse economic activity in rural and peri-urban areas.

Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN)
Provides transaction advice and connects renewable energy ventures with private investors and financiers.

Crowdfunding platforms that arrange working capital debt for renewable energy service providers.

Demo Environment Challenge Fund
Grants for planning and presenting projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Innovations Against Poverty
Challenges the private sector to develop products, services and business models that can combat poverty and climate change.

Private Infrastructure Development Group
Mobilises private investment to help developing countries build infrastructure that boosts economic growth and combats poverty.

Energising Development
Promotes sustainable access to modern energy services for households, social institutions and small to medium enterprises.

Energy Sector Management Assistance Program
Helps low- and middle-income countries reduce poverty and boost growth through environmentally sustainable energy solutions.

International network on gender and sustainable energy
Contributes to ensuring access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all. Brings sustainable energy solutions to people in hard to reach communities. Strengthens women-led micro and small businesses that provide energy solutions.

Powering Agriculture
Supports the development of clean energy innovations that increase productivity and stimulate low carbon economic growth in the agricultural sector in developing countries.

EU Electrification Financing Initiative
A financing mechanism to support market development and private sector initiatives for affordable, sustainable, and reliable energy solutions in developing countries.

Updated: 23 December 2020