Exploring avocado pomace and briquettes as alternative fuel sources

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Firewood remains a highly important energy source for small businesses across Africa but it is, of course, highly polluting. One of the ways in which small-scale food production enterprises are reducing their CO2 emissions is through transitioning from traditional fuel sources to biofuels as a means of powering their production processes. Supported by funding from…

Getting innovative in the agri-energy ecosystem: Financial instruments better suited to women-led SGBs in Africa

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Women are the backbone of the agriculture sector in sub-Saharan Africa, representing between 60% and 80% of smallholder farmers. However, those aspiring to move from subsistence to small commercial farming are restricted by access to opportunities, resources and financing for growth. Our co-funding programme with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Catalysing Agriculture by…

Insights on the cold chain needs of fisherfolk and traders in Homa Bay County, Kenya

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Kenya’s fisheries contribute an estimated 0.6% of GDP and largely comprise of freshwater fish.  Over 70% of freshwater fish tonnage is derived from the country’s 6% portion of Lake Victoria which is dominated by small-scale artisanal fisheries and are confronted with a plethora of issues that confine the fisherfolk in poverty amidst declining fish resources.…

ENERGY ACCESS PROGRAMME WITH USAID AND POWER AFRICA ENDS WITH 15 MILLION LIVES IMPROVED

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Our six-year Scaling Energy Access Markets in Africa (SEAM) partnership with The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Power Africa met its objectives and came to its natural conclusion in October. SEAM improved the lives of more than 15 million underserved people in Africa, delivered over 3.1 million new connections,  leveraged $441 million of…

Does access to inputs, information, credit and markets result in increased income for smallholder farmers?

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Smallholder farms account for 68.3% of total cultivated area in Ghana. Despite their important role in Ghana’s agricultural sector and economy more generally, however, farmers largely lack access to important support services that affect their productivity and survival due to the risky nature of their craft as perceived by financial institutions. Challenges such as the…

Pay-at-Harvest increases insurance uptake by 14x in Nigeria

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Agriculture is a major driver of economic output in Africa, providing income and livelihoods for millions of smallholder farmers, including the most vulnerable parts of the population. However, climate-related threats, including droughts and excess rainfall as well as pests and diseases, threaten crop yields.  Agricultural insurance serves as a powerful risk mitigation tool for dealing…

Aggregated procurement for Nigerian mini-grid developers delivers 40% cost savings

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A new research paper demonstrates how aggregated procurement presents enormous opportunity to facilitate access to distributed renewable energy (DRE) technology by improving supply chains within the sector and increasing cost-effectiveness for distributed energy projects. The research presents findings from a pilot programme testing aggregated procurement mechanisms for mini-grid developers in Nigeria. Download the full report…

The holistic impact on low-income communities of battery-as-a-service in rural Tanzania

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A new report examines the impact of Jaza Energy and the battery-as-a-service model on Jaza Hub Operators (“Jaza Stars”) as well as current, former and potential Jaza Customers. The report, conducted by the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics and co-funded by Shell Foundation and the UK government, presents the results of research conducted in the…

DFC invests US$40 million in Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund

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The Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund offers financing and assistance to companies that increase access to energy in sub-Saharan Africa Today, 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to energy The fund expects to provide patient, flexible capital to over 25 companies, with a fund life of twelve years DFC’s investment brings total commitments to…

African venture capital: barriers and solutions to address imbalances

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Interest in harnessing business potential in Africa is growing year-on-year. The total amount of venture capital (VC) investment on the continent grew to between US$4.3 billion and US$5 billion in 2021, a 16-fold increase from 2017. However, the distribution of the funding is uneven. The landscape of start-ups successfully accessing funding is dominated by non-African…