PFAN and Serengeti Energy launch maiden renewable energy incubator programme

Umoja Incubator

Serengeti Energy in collaboration with the Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN) has announced the launch of the 2022 Umoja Incubator which aims to help aspiring entrepreneurs in renewable energy to bring their project to financial close by improving the bankability of the most promising renewable energy projects through access to commercial and technical knowledge, and finally securing the funding.

The application period is open until September 4, 2022, after which a jury consisting of top-tier industry partners will evaluate the projects. The best candidates for the programme will be invited to a one-week workshop in Cape Town, in which the winner of the first Umoja Incubator will be announced.

More than 500 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity and this lack of access to modern electricity services limits the educational and business opportunities along with the economic prospects and well-being of these populations. Increasing the share of clean electricity will not only fight climate change on a global scale, but also help the continent to overcome key economic challenges and directly support the Sustainable Development Goals.

Commenting on the partnership, Marian Grabowski, Head of Technical Assistance and Strategic Partnerships – Serengeti Energy, said the Umoja Incubator aims to create long-lasting partnerships that exchange technical and commercial knowledge, build an ecosystem for renewable energy developers and provide aspiring candidates with everything needed to get their projects into construction.

“We are excited to launch this programme in close collaboration with PFAN, which have successfully been working with developers in Sub-Saharan Africa since 2006,” he stated.

Albert Boateng, PFAN West Africa Regional Coordinator, added that clean energy project development and finance raising is arduous and it requires multiple stakeholder contributions to make it a success and that the collaboration between PFAN and Serengeti Energy is timely and it encapsulates the African adage that demonstrates the value of working together.

Speaking at the Umoja Incubator Roadshow on renewable energy across sub-Saharan Africa in Accra on Monday, August 8, 2022, the Deputy Director, Renewable Energy at the Energy Ministry, Ing. Seth Mahu, said the Umoja Incubator will help derisk the preparatory costs of renewable energy projects on the continent.

“With about 600 million, representing 43 percent of the continent’s population, having no access to electricity, it is imperative to increase the participation of the private sector in the provision of modern electricity services to improve the social and economic wellbeing of the people as well as bridge the developmental gap,” he stated.

According to him, Africa abounds in rich energy resources including renewable energy—home to 60 percent of the best solar resources globally, as the development and use of these resources to improve the socioeconomic wellbeing of the people has not progressed satisfactorily.

Ing. Mahu further noted that the International Energy Agency provided a comprehensive blueprint to connect the remaining 600million Africans to electricity—where it stated that 42 percent of this population should be connected to the grid, 31 percent to mini grids, and the remaining 27 percent to off-grid standalone electricity between 2022 to 2030.

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