The African Development Bank’s Board of Governors has approved the conversion of the Bank’s administered multi-donor trust fund SEFA into a “special fund.” The initiative is to amplify its development impact by allowing it to access a wider range of financial instruments beyond the current scope of technical assistance.
The bank said currently, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), supports small and medium-scale renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects through early stage interventions that enhance project bankability and access to private sector investments. Under the new dispensation, the fund will focus its interventions on three areas: one, green mini-grids to accelerate energy access to underserved populations; two, green baseload to support clean generation capacity; and three, energy efficiency to optimise energy systems and reduce energy intensity.
This support would be provided through technical assistance and concessional investments that would improve the bankability of projects across innovative technologies and challenging geographies and crowd-in more commercial investments into the sector.
“The new SEFA will provide critical support to African countries to accelerate the transition towards greener and more sustainable power systems. The special fund’s ability to provide various financial instruments will unlock more private sector investments in new technologies and businesses,” said the bank’s Acting Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Wale Shonibare.
Bank’s Acting Director for Renewable Energy and Efficiency, Dr. Daniel Schroth, added that the proposed restructuring was designed to incorporate lessons from SEFA’s seven years of operational experience.