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USADF, All On canvass improved power supply

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Solar power mini grid Photo: NAN


.Give $900,000 grant to off-grid players
The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) and All On have emphasised the need for improved power supply in Nigeria, while announcing that nine African-owned enterprises as finalists for the 2020 Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge.
  
The winners of the third edition of the challenge are Allbase Global Technology, Ashdam Solar Company, Covenant Plus Engineering, Green Acres Microfinance Bank, Reeddi Technologies, Salpha Energy, Solarworld Alternative Energy Resources, Sunhive Limited, and Vesselnet Integrated Services Limited.
  
All the nine enterprises will each be awarded $25,000 in grant capital from USADF, and $25,000 in grant capital from All On via its support from the Rockefeller Foundation through the All On Hub, and additional $50,000 in convertible debt also from All On.
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In addition to funding, the winners will receive technical assistance from USADF and governance support from All On. President and CEO, USADF, C.D. Glin, said: “Congratulations to all the finalists on joining an innovative group of local enterprises that have come through this Challenge and are now making impactful contributions in the Nigerian renewable energy sector.
 
“We are also happy to announce that the Off-Grid Energy Challenge partnership will be extended by an additional two years till December 2022.” On his part, CEO, All On, Wiebe Boer, said: “In spite of a remarkably difficult year, we are pleased that the Challenge is providing funding to the 2020 cohort of winners. These emerging indigenous companies have demonstrated that they have what it takes to succeed, and over time, scale innovations that will ultimately improve livelihoods and local economies by providing power to unserved and underserved communities.”

Executive Director, The Rockefeller Foundation’s Power & Climate initiative in Africa, Joseph Nganga, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deep inequality in energy access and illustrated how essential reliable electricity is in homes, businesses, and health centres.

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“Through the All On Hub we will continue to support All On in identifying and nurturing innovative entrepreneurs and businesses that are addressing Africa’s energy poverty by scaling Nigeria’s off grid sector.”
 
One of the beneficiaries, and Managing Director, Salpha Energy, Sandra Chukwudozie, said: “We are extremely honoured to have made it to the finals. The funding will enable us to buy and distribute solar home systems in communities in the Niger Delta, and ultimately add thousands of new connections.”

The 2020 winners include two female-led energy companies, as part of the partners’ commitment to closing the gender gap in Nigeria’s growing renewable energy sector.
 
The annual Challenge is a multi-year partnership that identifies and helps scale innovative off-grid solutions to “power up” unserved and underserved areas in Nigeria.
It was established by USADF, a founding member of the US Power Africa Initiative, and an independent US Government agency established by Congress to support and invest in African-owned and led enterprises and All On, a Nigerian impact investing company seeded by Shell, that invests in off-grid energy solution providers in Nigeria.
 
The winning enterprises are increasing sustainable energy access, specifically off-grid solutions, and extending the delivery of electrification to unserved and underserved communities in Nigeria.

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