British International Investment

Africa Renewable Energy Fund


The Africa Renewable Energy Fund (AREF) invests in small hydro, wind, geothermal, stranded gas, and solar projects across sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa.

AREF, which is managed by Berkeley Energy, is one of the first pan-African private equity funds focused on developing renewable energy infrastructure.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

In 2014, CDC invested $20 million into AREF to provide long-term capital for greenfield renewable energy infrastructure projects.

AREF aims to make investments between $10 million to $30 million into 10-50 megawatt (MW) power projects.

Expected impact

Expected impact of investments made between 2012 and 2018. From 2019 onwards, we have published a fuller set of impact information, assessing each investment against six dimensions of impact.

In sub-Saharan Africa two thirds of the population remain without access to electricity. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), average electricity consumption per person in the region is too low to keep a single 50-watt light bulb continuously lit.

Expanding electricity access is critical to reduce poverty and boost economic growth. This requires a major increase in power supply to the region and renewable energy has a vital role to play. Yet despite significant resources, sub-Saharan Africa continues to trail the rest of the world in obtaining funds for renewable energy projects.

Our investment will support the development of a series of projects that will generate up to 200-250 MW capacity across the continent. These include a geothermal project in Ethiopia, hydro projects in Uganda, Tanzania and Cameroon, solar and biomass in Ghana.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We work closely with the fund manager to help develop and implement an ESMS that has the capacity to manage the higher level of environmental and social risk associated with this sector. This includes regular site visits to investee companies.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    January 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.


    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).


    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.


    The countries from which we derive the value of our investment. Where value is derived from multiple countries, this is indicated.

    Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Tanzania, Uganda

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.


    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Start date :
    October 2014
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :
    Fund Manager:
    Berkeley Energy

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.


Investments made by this fund into companies:

For further information about these companies, visit

Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Achwa 1 & 2 Uganda East Africa Infrastructure October 2014 Active
Achwa HPP3/4/5 Uganda East Africa Infrastructure September 2015 Active
Angola Hydro Angola Central Africa Infrastructure June 2023 Exited
APSD Ghana West Africa Infrastructure October 2016 Active
Azimuth Ghana West Africa Infrastructure June 2017 Exited
BE Ghana Ghana West Africa Infrastructure March 2018 Exited
BE Uganda Uganda East Africa Infrastructure December 2016 Active
Bugoye Hydro Limited Uganda East Africa Infrastructure September 2015 Active
Corbetti Geothermal Ethiopia East Africa Infrastructure June 2014 Active
Dibombe Cameroon Hydro Cameroon Central Africa Infrastructure August 2016 Exited
Kikagati Uganda East Africa Infrastructure September 2016 Active
Konikablo Ghana West Africa Infrastructure September 2016 Exited
Mahitsy Madagascar East Africa Infrastructure December 2018 Active
Makambako Tanzania East Africa Infrastructure September 2016 Exited
Maraontsetra Madagascar East Africa Infrastructure December 2018 Active
Sahanivotry Madagascar East Africa Infrastructure December 2018 Active
Tsinjoarivo Madagascar East Africa Infrastructure December 2018 Active

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