New initiative with DFID and USAID aims to scale off-grid energy solutions in Africa

Shell Foundation has partnered with Power Africa, US Agency for International Development, the African Development Bank and the UK Department for International Development to create a platform that allows leading donors and investors to coordinate investments into energy access initiatives that target off-grid households and businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Scaling Off-Grid Energy, A Grand Challenge, aims to overcome supply, demand and market constraints in the off-grid energy sector to deliver clean, modern and affordable electricity to 20 million households. 
Together, the partners will align opportunities for patient investment and partnerships with key African stakeholders to unlock the private capital required for scale – significantly amplifying our collective impact. At a country level, the partners will strengthen the off-grid energy ecosystem and policy environment to advance the goals and commitments made under Power Africa, Energy Africa and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The partners will focus on three areas for scaling off-grid solutions: access to finance to expand supply, technology innovation to build demand, and institutional support to strengthen the marketplace. 
This approach builds on SF’S learning from over the last 17 years. We have found that simultaneous market-building support in four critical areas, delivered through the coordinated actions of a range of stakeholders, is a prerequisite to sustain and accelerate the growth of inclusive markets. 


In addition to bringing together public departments in the US and UK, the Grand Challenge has attracted the backing of high-profile corporates and foundations. Microsoft, Acumen and the United Nations Foundation are aligned partners committed to leveraging their investments, capabilities, and networks.

"With aligned partners who are investing in or supporting the off-grid sector, we can dramatically accelerate the growth of the household energy sector in Africa," said USAID’s Power Africa Coordinator Andrew M. Herscowitz.
USAID, DFID and Shell Foundation welcomes opportunities to partner with more organisations that share a commitment to expanding energy access in Africa, and to building a vibrant market for off-grid energy solutions. 
To learn more about partnership opportunities, please email:
To find out more about the Grand Challenge, visit the Scaling Off-Grid Energy microsite.

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