AECF avails US $1.2m Innovation Fund to unlock renewable energy potential

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The African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) has availed a US $1.2m Innovation Fund to unlock the potential of renewable energy and create new business opportunities in seven countries namely: Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, and Mozambique.

According to AECF, chief executive officer Ms Victoria Sabula, the fund is aimed at strengthening market readiness of emerging innovations, as well as secure financial, technical, and networking support for taking existing proven prototypes to scale.

“The Innovation Fund is key to enhancing large-scale transformation within local communities. Investing in affordable and accessible renewable energy solutions can create jobs, grow economies, and build more sustainable livelihoods. Through the fund, we hope to unearth new ways that renewable technology – be it domestic, communal, or commercial – can be used to generate income and create jobs,” she said.

Ms Sabula also added that the Innovation Fund builds on AECF’s Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies (REACT) initiative, which was launched to support the private sector develop and expand its clean energy technologies to Africa’s rural communities.

“The Fund, will invest in technologies that meet market needs as well as accelerating the development of existing solutions to better serve African communities and not technologies in the prototype stage,” she said.

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African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF)

The AECF is a development institution which supports businesses to innovate, create jobs, leverage investments and markets in an effort to create resilience and sustainable incomes in rural and marginalized communities in Africa. Launched in 2008, the AECF has mobilized over US $356m to date, leveraging more than US $658m in matching capital and improving the lives of more than 16 million people in 2017 alone through jobs and increased household incomes. AECF has so far supported 268 companies in 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa across 40 value chains in our focal sectors of agribusiness and renewable energy.