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Press Release from 2021-12-01 / Group, KfW Development Bank

Electricity for all: KfW supports new means to decentralise the electricity supply in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Innovative approach: supplying electricity independently of the power grid
  • Financing via digital lending platforms
  • Clean electricity from renewable sources

On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), KfW today signed a EUR 49 million financing agreement for the foundation Clean Energy and Energy Inclusion for Africa (CEI Africa). The aim of the foundation set up by KfW is to supply climate-friendly electricity to people in sparsely populated areas of Sub-Saharan Africa.

The foundation supports privately operated small electricity grids, so-called mini-grids, which are separate from the public electricity distribution system. Grants from the foundation incentivise companies in Africa to invest in renewable energies. The foundation will also work with digital lending platforms known as crowdlenders to finance mini-grids and small energy solutions such as solar lighting, home solar systems, solar-powered mills, pumps and cooling systems.

“Around 550 million people – about half the population in Sub-Saharan Africa – have no access to electricity. Investing in the expansion of decentralised energy supply and mobilising private and public financing to install renewable energy sources is therefore urgently needed. In sparsely populated areas, decentralised, off-grid energy supply is only possible on a large scale using small-scale solutions independent of the public electricity grids. This is an innovative approach with a promising future,” said Christiane Laibach, Member of the Executive Board at KfW Group.

The amount of around EUR 49 million is to be used to create 187 off-grid, small-scale power networks and to install around 70,000 power connections. Over 350,000 people will gain access to electricity. By involving other public donors, the target is a ten-fold increase in ten years in the foundation’s funding and the number of electricity connections.

Small savers and so-called diaspora investors, savers with a migration background who have a familial or personal connection to the investment countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, can also invest.

The measures will contribute to achieving the goals of the BMZ’s “Green People’s Energy for Africa” initiative (Initiative grüne Bürgerenergie), which aims to enable, expand and secure the supply of sustainable energy in rural Africa. It is part of the Marshall Plan with Africa and focuses on broad participation of small and medium-sized enterprises, municipalities, cooperatives, public associations and citizens.

Information about KfW Development Bank can be found at:


Portrait von Dr. Charis Pöthig

Dr Charis Pöthig

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