*** African Development Bank President Adesina (left) with GEAPP’s Africa Executive Director, Joseph Nganga, following the grant announcement ***

By Olufemi Terry

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa has secured a fresh injection of $64 million in grant funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet(link is external) (GEAPP).

SEFA, a multi-donor special fund managed by the African Development Bank, provides concessional finance to unlock private sector investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Commenting on the grant, Norway’s Minister for International Development, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, emphasized SEFA’s ongoing contribution to tackling some of the biggest challenges hindering access to clean energy in Africa. “Six hundred million Africans lack connection to electricity and 900 million do not have modern cooking stoves,” Tvinnereim said. “With today’s announcement, NORAD – SEFA’s partner since 2018 – increased its contribution to NOK 535 million ($54.72 million).”

Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet Executive Director for Africa Joseph Nganga said GEAPP was proud to partner with the African Development Bank to expand access to clean, affordable, and reliable energy for communities across Africa.

“We are leapfrogging polluting energy sources and supporting decarbonisation across the energy sector. Together we will focus our efforts on sustainable energy projects with a high potential to be transformative, scalable, and replicable, and we look forward to supporting SEFA to catalyse and leverage additional financing for these pivotal projects,” he added.

Dr. Daniel Schroth, African Development Bank Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, acknowledged the importance of the grant funding. “These new contributions to SEFA are a recognition of the critical role played by SEFA in catalysing private sector investments in Africa’s sustainable energy sector and they will allow SEFA to further scale-up its investments over the coming years,” he said.

The announcement came during a panel discussion as part of the Climate Summit (COP27) held in Sharm El-Sheikh from 6-18 November. The panel discussion, titled Renewable energy for climate action, socio-economic transformation in Africa: the role of SEFA, featured Minister Tvinnereim and Ed Borgstein, GEAPP’s Director of Country Programmes.

The panel also included the Minister of Water Resources and Electricity of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Olivier Mwenze Mukaleng; the Director for Climate, Energy and Environment at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Dr Heike Henn, Terje Osmundsen, Founder and CEO of Empower New Energy(link is external); Aaron Chang, CEO of PowerGen(link is external); Peter George, Co-Investment Director of the Spark+ Africa Fund(link is external); Rokya Ye-Dieng, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP(link is external) in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Ash Sharma, Vice President of the Nordic Green Bank(link is external), and Geoff Sinclair, Managing Director of the Renewable Energy Performance Platform(link is external).

Sinclair congratulated SEFA on the new funding. He noted that “SEFA plays a critical role in catalysing African sustainable energy development and convened an important conversation about how to increase the scale and rate of implementation.  It was clear that all actors in the sector need to collaborate more to do this, and I’m looking forward to following up to put that collaboration into action.”

Sharma said, “Public finance channelled through results-based financing has an important role to play in help to de-risk and scale expansion of off grid electricity solutions and modern clean cooking solutions. The Nordic Green Bank manages two multi-donor SDG7 instruments to support these sectors in nine African countries through the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa and the Modern Cooking Facility for Africa, respectively.”

*** African Development Bank President Adesina (left) and Norwegian Minister Tvinnereim ***


The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet is an alliance of local entrepreneurs, emerging and developed country governments, and technology, policy, and financing partners. With philanthropic partners Bezos Earth Fund, IKEA Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation, GEAPP works to build the enabling environment, capacity, and market conditions for private sector solutions, catalyze new business models through innovation and entrepreneurship, and deploy high-risk capital to encourage private sector solutions, and assist just transition solutions.


NORAD, the Norwegian agency for development cooperation, is under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs(link is external). In matters concerning Norway’s climate and forestry initiative, NORAD is a subordinate of the Ministry of Climate and Environment(link is external).