The African country of Togo has received a significant boost in the form of $4 million in funding to further the development an energy access drive dubbed the Cizo initiative.
The debt finance deal, deemed to be the first of its kind to unlock locally raised capital to finance a government project aimed at improving the quality of life in sub-Saharan Africa, was provided by local bank Union Togolaise de Banque (UTB).
The Africa Guarantee Fund, which helps financial institutions increase financing for African small and medium sized enterprises, also provided a 50 percent pro rata credit enhancement to the deal, African news journal ESI Africa reported.
The bank will provide the capital to BBOXX, a utility that works to provide energy access to rural communities across Togo.
According to Mercom Solar Funding and M&A Reports, BBOXX has raised approximately $35 million in venture capital funding from the likes of Khosla Impact Funds among others.
BBOXX was awarded a contract to work with the Togo government to set up 300,000 of its solar home systems across the country by 2022. BBOXX expects to create more than 1,000 direct jobs in Togo in the next five years from the effort.
The Cizo initiative was recently launched by the Togolese government to provide access to sustainable energy access for communities across the country.
The initiative aims to provide electricity access to more than 2 million citizens by 2022. It is also working to improve the financial inclusiveness of African rural communities through the adoption of mobile payment apps.
The new funding for the Cizo initiative comes as a number of companies and organizations are working to improve electricity access for African households. Approximately 625 million people reportedly do not have access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.
Mercom also recently reported that M-KOPA Solar, a pay-as-you-go energy provider for off-grid homes, partnered with Mastercard to provide electricity to African homes. The partnership aims to provide Africans who are living without electricity a way to light up their homes and businesses using solar power.
In January 2018, Mercom likewise reported that Azuri Technologies, a pay-as-you-go off-grid solar products provider in the sub-Saharan African region, had launched a $20 million off-balance-sheet debt financing program. The program aims to provide working capital for the expansion of off-grid energy and service provision in east Africa.
In addition, in October 2017, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded a total of $6.3 million for the strengthening of the off-grid energy sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Ankita is an editor at MercomIndia.com where she writes and edits clean energy news stories and features. With years of experience in the news business, Ankita has a nose for news and an eye for detail. Prior to Mercom, Ankita was associated with The Times of India as a copy editor for the organization’s digital news desk. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Delhi University and a Postgraduate Diploma in journalism. More articles from Ankita Rajeshwari.