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Oikocredit commits USD 26.5 million for renewable energy access in sub-Saharan Africa

Social impact investor Oikocredit has committed USD 26.5 million in loans and equity investments to improve energy access by financing distributed renewable energy (DRE) infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa through to 2026. The commitment was publicly announced at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) 2023 Meeting in New York.

Together with existing and new partners, Oikocredit will embed productive capacity development programmes in rural infrastructure development initiatives in Africa and facilitate the delivery of holistic community interventions centred on the needs and wants of each community.

Oikocredit’s investment will support multiple solution providers with funds to procure, construct and maintain DRE generation and distribution assets in rural Africa, including mini-grids and other off-grid solar solutions. Community buildings such as schools and healthcare facilities will be prioritised. Funds will also help provide productive use equipment such as millers, driers, cold storage, smart irrigation, water storage and e-mobility solutions.

Expanded access to electricity will help local communities benefit from increased economic activity, production of additional goods, and greater access to services, stimulating rural development.

More than 660 million people around the world will lack electricity access even in 2030, according to the International Energy Agency. A staggering 85 per cent of that number will live in sub-Saharan Africa, where less than 30 per cent of the population has access to electricity. Yet, demographic and economic growth is strongest in the region, putting it on a trajectory to experience declining electrification over the next decade.

Highlighting Oikocredit's work at the CGI 2023 Meeting, former US President Bill Clinton said, “Electricity means more opportunity in rural communities in Africa, increased economic activity, expanded education and improved public health for millions. Oikocredit is leading the way to reverse the current declining trajectory of Africa’s electrification rate by bringing renewable energy to rural communities.”

James Todd, Renewable Energy Manager at Oikocredit, said, “Electricity is essential to a productive and fulfilling life for each of us. At the same time, clean energy has been recognised as fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of reducing poverty, improving public health, and broadening education. With this new commitment, we look forward to supporting sub-Saharan communities to achieve these outcomes with our existing partners and with new affiliates working at the grassroots level.”