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BGFA launches its third Call for Proposals offering financing to off-grid ESPs in Uganda

The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) has opened the Pre-Qualification stage of its third Call for Proposals (BGFA3) with the aim of accelerating the provision of off-grid energy services in Uganda. BGFA3 invites interested off-grid ESPs (Energy Service Providers) in Uganda to compete for results-based financing under three Funding Lots to expand their standalone and micro-grid solutions in the country.

Interested off-grid ESPs in Uganda are now invited to register via the online application tool, available here, and submit their applications at the latest by 22 June 2021.

BGFA3 is offering incentives to off-grid energy service providers that are expected to enable the establishment of up to 600,000 energy connections and benefit more than 3 million people in remote areas of Uganda. The total financing included under this third Call for Proposals is about US $25m, split into three Funding Lots. The indicative individual contract ticket size per company is expected to be US $1.4–4.8 million depending on the Lot. The BGFA3 funding is provided by the Danish and Swedish governments.

The plan is to have approximately 10 contracts signed by spring 2022, with project implementation starting in the same year. The energy services are to be made available over a four-year period.

During the implementation phase, successful off-grid ESPs in Uganda will also be eligible to receive technical assistance and business support financed by BGFA, including advice related to, for example, monitoring, evaluation and mobilisation of additional funds.

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A two-stage application process

The BGFA3 application process is divided into two stages: a Pre-Qualification stage and Final Application stage. The purpose of the Pre-Qualification stage is to check whether interested off-grid energy companies meet BGFA3 key eligibility criteria and minimum technical and financial capacity requirements.

During the Pre-Qualification stage, applicants are only asked to submit a limited amount of information and documentation to reduce their time and cost of preparing the application. Only applicants that pass the Pre-Qualification stage will be invited to take part in the Final Application stage. During the Final Application stage, applicants will be required to submit a full project proposal, including a detailed business plan, financial model(s) and comprehensive supporting documentation.

The Pre-Qualification stage is open for applications through the SmartME intake system. The application forms in the system opened at 16:00 Helsinki time (UTC +3) on 29 April 2021. The intake system will close on 22 June 2021 for submissions of Pre-Qualification applications. The Pre-Qualification stage, including a review of applications, is expected to be completed by August 2021.

Applicants are requested to send any questions regarding the call and application process through the SmartME intake system at the latest by 31 May 2021. Answers will be published in a generic form and made available to all registered applicants in the SmartME intake system on 8 June 2021.

More information on the application process and eligibility criteria can be found in the Invitation Letter and Pre-Qualification Guidelines.

Dennis Ayemba
Country/ Features Editor, Kenya

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