Chaired by Hela Cheikhrouhou, ONEC Director, the seminar was attended by more than a hundred participants from the commercial banking, development finance, private equity, and project development entities. The event was also preceded by the official release of SEFA's 2012 Annual Report, the first full year of operations of this important initiative.
Cheikhrouhou applauded the valuable Denmark contribution without which the Fund could not exist, underscoring that “SEFA's goal is to bridge the gap of the missing middle” in energy projects.
Solomon Asamoah, Deputy CEO and Chief Investment Officer, Africa Finance Corporation, insisted on the challenges the projects developers face when seeking for financing, and added that “any support that can help them must be welcomed” as is the case of SEFA. Kevin Whitfield from Nedbank highlighted the need for more coordination among financiers as well as the opportunity to bundle the small projects into a programmatic approach. Agnes Dasewicz, Director of the Private Capital Group for Africa, USAID, made an appeal for support to smaller projects by stating that “in order to drive economic growth, we need to support off-grid projects and solutions in rural areas”. For his part, Tim Turner, OPSM Director, explained how the new partial risk guarantees can be instrumental in crowding-in private capital in small and medium renewable energy projects by covering the country and off-taker risk faced by private investors.
Catalyzing private sector investment is the cornerstone of SEFA intervention in order to increase access to sustainable energy on the continent while promoting local economic development and job creation.
Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
About SEFA: SEFA is a joint initiative between the African Development Bank and the government of Denmark comprising of resources of up to USD 56 million. It operates through two components: (i) project preparation grants to facilitate the preparation of small and medium-scale renewable energy generation and energy efficiency projects and (ii) equity investments to bridge the financing gap for small and medium scale renewable energy generation projects. SEFA is structured to be used as a flexible multi-donor/multi-purpose platform to support the access to sustainable energy agenda in Africa, and one of Africa's potential instruments under the UN-championed Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.
Media contact: Penelope Pontet. +216 24 66 36 96 - [email protected]
Technical contact: Joao Duarte Cunha . +216 7110 3819 - [email protected]
For more information on our activities, please visit the AfDB website : http://bit.ly/VS6IoY