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TDB Group extends $2mln to MPower Ventures Zambia

The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank Group (TDB Group), through the Trade and Development Fund (TDF), has extended a 3-year USD 2 million term loan to MPower Ventures Zambia Limited to improve access to modern and affordable energy solutions for household and productive use through the importation and retail of solar products to off grid communities in Zambia.

Through this transaction, MPower Zambia is set to increase its deployment range of plug and play household solar devices and market driven productive use assets such as freezers, sewing machines and water pumps to lower- and middle-income households, SMEs, and farmers in peri-urban and rural areas.

Gloria Mamba, Trade and Development Fund Executive Director and TDB Southern Africa Coverage Executive said, “We are pleased to extend this facility to MPower as it allows us to provide concessional financial solutions to SMEs which have traditionally struggled to attract adequate financing from the formal banking sector, yet spur change and transformation within our communities, bringing about green growth opportunities and sustainable development, which is what we desire to see across the region.”

Additionally, MPower Zambia will construct 50 new rural energy hubs. Using the energy hub model the company sets up hubs that allow communities to access energy for domestic and public purposes such as lighting health centres through last mile extension of power from the hubs to the nearest health facilities. The energy hubs are expected to create 30 direct and over 500 indirect jobs, thereby enhancing productivity and economic activity, and improving the livelihoods of communities that currently lack access to the electricity grid.

Prof. Oliver Saasa, Chairperson and Non-Executive Director of the Trade and Development Fund Board of Directors said that “The Rural Electrification Master Plan for Zambia aims to achieve a rural electrification rate of 51% by 2030. The Government is implementing a strategy to encourage private sector investment to bring in additional energy solutions such as solar to bridge the energy gap.”

Manuel Seiffe, CEO and Co-Founder of MPower, commented: “We are immensely grateful for the support extended by the TDB Group through the Trade and Development Fund. This 3-year USD 2 million term loan marks significant progress for MPower as we strive to enhance access to clean, reliable and affordable energy solutions in Zambia. With this funding, we are better positioned to expand our reach and deploy household solar devices and market-driven productive assets to empower lower- and middle-income households, SMEs, and farmers in peri-urban and rural areas. Large parts of Zambia and Africa still suffer from non-existent or unreliable power supply. MPower allows for leapfrogging straight to solar energy and we are grateful for TDF’s support in achieving our mission.

Michael Eschmann, COO and Co-Founder, and Greg Nau, CFO and Co-Founder, stressed “that the construction of 50 new rural energy hubs underscores our commitment to sustainable development, creating jobs, and improving livelihoods within communities that lack access to the electricity grid. Together with partners like the TDB Group, we are driving change and promoting green growth opportunities across the region.

The facility was signed during a breakfast meeting at the Intercontinental, Lusaka in the presence of Noel Nkoma, Council of Ministers, Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Winza Muzyamba Mwauluka, Director – Project Implementation and Monitoring, State House, Subeta Mutelo, Permanent Secretary of Energy and SMEs, Johannes Hertlein, Country Director MPower Zambia and various CEOs, who deliberated during a panel session on opportunities for financing renewable energy in Zambia.

TDB Group is committed to supporting its member states achieve their national priorities by providing innovative financing solutions in critical sectors that promote sustainable development.