Obama Ups Africa’s Sustainable Energy Fund Via USAID


Tunis, September 23, 2013 The Board of the African Development Bank has approved the conversion of the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) – a bilateral trust fund established with funding from the Government of Denmark and administered by the bank – into a multi-donor trust fund with a wider remit. With this conversion, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will become the second anchor donor and make a financial contribution as part of President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative, while also opening the door for other donors interested in promoting private-sector led investments in small and medium sustainable energy projects. Additionally, the Board endorsed a new financing window to support related enabling environment activities.

 On the occasion of the Board’s approval, Mr. Kurt Lonsway, Acting Director of the AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department remarked, “This development proves that SEFA has established itself as a brand in Africa since its launch in 2012. SEFA has already approved USD 4 million in project development grants, co-sponsored an innovative private equity fund and facilitated various contacts between renewable energy entrepreneurs and project financiers in Africa. We are pleased that these early successes can now be scaled-up as the fund opens to new donors ultimately positioning SEFA as one of Africa’s leading facilities for realizing the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Initiative.” 

The Ambassador, Brigitte Markussen, alternate AfDB Govemor and Africa Director at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said they are pleased to have provided the early support for the establishment of the SEFA platform and shall continue supporting it as a leading facility for Africa. USAID Assistant Administrator for Africa, Mr. Earl Gast, further remarked that “SEFA will play an important role in removing the obstacles for the development of small and medium-sized sustainable energy projects in Africa, which are critical to the achievement of President Obama’s goal of doubling access to power in sub-Saharan Africa.” He added that their initial USD 5 million contribution is part of a multi-year commitment to help SEFA scale-up operations in support of clean energy investments in the continent.

SEFA is a multi-donor facility to support the sustainable energy agenda in Africa, operating through three components: grants to facilitate the preparation of medium-scale renewable energy generation and energy efficiency projects; equity investments to bridge the financing gap for small and medium scale renewable energy generation projects and support to public sector in improving the enabling environment for private investments in sustainable energy. It is endowed with USD 60 million from the Governments of Denmark and United States and hosted by the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department of the AfDB.

USAID has provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for more than 50 years.


Source: African Press Organization on behalf of the African Development Bank (AfDB).