Over 700 million people in Africa live without access to electricity, disproportionately affecting those at the bottom of the economic pyramid in numerous ways. Households resort to spending roughly USD 30 – 70 cents daily on dirty and hazardous alternatives such as kerosene and other makeshift solutions. Additionally, an alarming 526 million tonnes of food go to waste annually due to the lack of effective refrigeration, impacting primarily the rural areas where food is produced.
The Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) sector emerges as a transformative solution, enabling customers to make affordable installment payments. A variety of payment plans are available, offering products ranging from Solar Home Systems (SHS) to those designed for productive use. SHS typically include solar panels, batteries, 2-5 modern LED lights, a radio, and an optional TV. Productive use (PUE) products encompass cooking stoves, refrigerators, water pumps, and smartphones.
Mobile money facilitates seamless transactions, allowing users to make payments conveniently. An innovative feature ensures that products can be automatically turned off or rendered unusable if payments are overdue. Upon completion of the payment plan, typically spanning 12 to 36 months, no further payments are required. Currently, 490 million people are benefiting from energy access through Off-Grid Solar (OGS) solutions.
While the impact is significant, PAYGO service providers face a crucial challenge, requiring hundreds of millions of dollars in working capital financing. To achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) there is a $23.3 billion total funding requirement (Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report, 2022)
We have been dedicated to providing capital to Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth entrepreneurs, platforms and businesses since 2010. As a team, we have transacted across renewable energy, real estate, ICT, rail, aviation, power, agriculture and service sectors. Along with this, we have had successful exits with on-the-ground transactional experience in East, West and Southern Africa.
2017 Awardee of the SOGE Grand Challenge for Development.
The SOGE (USAID Scaling Off-Grid Energy) Grand Challenge for Development is a global partnership of USAID, Power Africa, Shell Foundation, UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the African Development Bank. It aims to extend energy access to 20 million households across sub-Saharan Africa by 2030. SOGE is assisting with the facility structuring, financing and pipeline development.
Private Equity Africa Magazine’s Special Recognition Exit of the Year Award 2015
People with improved access to electricity
The global OGS sector is providing improved electricity access to millions of households, transforming lives that were previously reliant on kerosene and solid fuels for most of their lighting needs.
Greenhouse gas emissions avoided
Solar energy kits and productive use of energy products have reduced CO2e and are playing a key role in a faster and more just clean energy transition.
In overall health
SHS customers reported improved health and safety due to their system and OGS technologies are also being used to power public institutions and health facilities.
Powering micro and small enterprises
The off-grid solar sector is powering many enterprise and creating hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs directly within the industry.
African Frontier Capital,
33 St. James's Square,
London SW1Y 4JS, UK
African Frontier Capital,
5th Floor, Nexsky Building,
Solar Frontier Capital Limited,
Jersey, JE1 1RB