British International Investment

COVID-19 Energy Access Relief Fund

GlobalRest of the WorldInfrastructure

The Energy Access Relief Fund’s flexible and innovative financial structure blends different types of capital to offer low-interest loans and liquidity while the health and economic consequences of the pandemic continues.

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

Our investment

Description of the investment.

The Energy Access Relief Fund will provide relief capital in the form of short-term loans to an estimated 90 energy access companies in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia still struggling with disruptions wrought by COVID-19.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.

What?

Impact

Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men (SDG 8.5) Ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services (SDG 7.1)

How?

How?

Provide short-term liquidity to enable up to 90 primarily small and medium-sized energy access companies to remain solvent for the loan duration. As the sector is nascent and still largely pre-profit, without emergency funding a large proportion of otherwise financially and operationally sound firms are at risk of insolvency due to prolonged COVID-19 related liquidity challenges.

Who?

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Employees

Pan-Africa and Asia

Primarily sales and distribution, installation and maintenance, and call-centre agents. Over half of in-country employees in the sector reside in rural areas, 61 per cent are lower-skilled workers and 27 per cent are women.

Consumers

Pan-Africa and Asia

Predominantly rural and low-income, with 41 per cent of solar home system customers and 51 per cent of mini-grid customers living below $3.20/day. 35 per cent of customers are female. The main sources of income for energy access customers are self-employment in agriculture and other informal jobs.

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

We expect the fund will help to safeguard energy access for up to 3.3 million households and up to 12,400 full-time equivalent in-country jobs in recipient companies over the loan duration.

Surveys indicate that 61 per cent of solar home system customers and 54 per cent of mini-grid customers report significant quality of life improvements because of improved energy access. 7 per cent and 26 per cent of solar home system and mini-grid customers respectively, also report using their energy access for productive use, resulting in potential time saving and/or income generation.

Contribution/additionality

Contribution/additionality
  • Financial additionality: High financial additionality due to high uncertainty and limited risk appetite among commercial investors for both the sector and market. We have taken a leadership role in the fund s development, including defining strategy, underwriting criteria, governance framework and driving fundraising

Risk

External Risk
  • Relates to the risk that EARF funding is insufficient to meet the severity and/or duration of liquidity challenges experienced by recipient companies, and so fails to prevent insolvencies and ensuing job losses and loss of energy access for customers. Correlates with commercial risk and partially mitigated by eligibility criteria to screen out businesses that were already in financial stress pre-COVID-19 pandemic and/or are less well-established.
Alignment Risk
  • Relates to the risk that recipient companies do not use proceeds as intended to cover local operating costs and staff expenses, e.g. instead using funds to bail out or subsidise existing investors or lenders. Correlated with commercial risk and mitigated by covenants restricting use of proceeds to local operating and staff costs.
Unexpected Impact Risk
  • Relates to the risk that recipient companies do not take adequate measures to protect poor and vulnerable consumers and therefore have unintended adverse impacts on customers’ wellbeing. This is mitigated by companies being required to commit to the GOGLA Consumer Protection Code, and report on consumer protection practices to SIMA/BII at the application stage and bi-annually thereafter to be eligible for funding

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

The fund manager has a strong approach to environmental and social management and we will continue to support and monitor its approach as the portfolio grows.

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.

    :
    D4599
    Status

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

    :
    Active
    Region

    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.

    :
    Rest of the World
    Country

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

    :
    Global
    Sector

    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.

    :
    Infrastructure

    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 :
    Fund
    Start date :
    August 2021
    Amount :
    $15m
    Currency of investment :
    USD
    Fund Manager:
    Social Investment Managers and Advisors
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    Netherlands
    Climate finance

    Indicates whether the investment is climate finance qualified or partially climate finance qualified and the type of climate finance (adaptation, mitigation or both). We define climate finance using the multilateral development bank (MDB) and the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) Common Principles climate finance methodology. See Common Principles for Climate Mitigation Finance Tracking and Common Principles for Climate Change Adaptation Finance Tracking. We provide the climate finance qualification and type for commitments from 2020 onwards, which is when we launched our Climate Change Strategy.

    :
    Fully qualified
    Climate finance type:
    Mitigation

Investments made by this fund into companies:

For further information about these companies, visit https://simafunds.com/

Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
A4&T Power Solutions Ltd Nigeria West Africa Infrastructure January 2022 Active
All in Trade Limited Uganda East Africa Infrastructure March 2022 Active
Altech Group SARL Congo Central Africa Infrastructure June 2022 Active
Amped Innovation PBC Senegal West Africa Infrastructure March 2022 Active
Aptech Africa Limited Uganda East Africa Infrastructure March 2022 Active
Aptech Africa Limited-Loan II Uganda East Africa Infrastructure August 2022 Active
Aress Sas Benin West Africa Infrastructure March 2023 Active
Arnergy Solar Limited Nigeria West Africa Infrastructure November 2022 Active
ATEC Australia-Int. Pty Ltd Cambodia Southeast Asia Infrastructure April 2022 Active
Azuri Technologies Ltd Kenya East Africa Infrastructure November 2021 Active
Baobab Plus Senegal West Africa Infrastructure October 2022 Active
Barefoot Power Africa Limited Kenya East Africa Infrastructure March 2022 Active
Bboxx Capital Kenya Limited Kenya East Africa Infrastructure July 2022 Active
Bboxx PEG Africa Holdco Ltd Senegal West Africa Infrastructure November 2022 Active
Bidhaa Sasa Limited Kenya East Africa Infrastructure October 2021 Active
Bio-Innovations Company Ltd Uganda East Africa Infrastructure September 2022 Active
Burn Manufacturing USA LLC-Loan II Kenya East Africa Infrastructure July 2022 Active
Burn Manufacturing USA LLC, Kenya Br. Kenya East Africa Infrastructure August 2021 Active
Darway Coast Nig Ltd Nigeria West Africa Infrastructure July 2022 Active
Deevabits Green Energy Limited Kenya East Africa Infrastructure March 2022 Active
Dynamiss Lda Mozambique East Africa Infrastructure January 2023 Active
East African Power Rwanda East Africa Infrastructure April 2023 Active
Easy Solar, Sierra Leone Sierra Leone West Africa Infrastructure April 2021 Active
Ebits Limited Malawi East Africa Infrastructure April 2023 Active
ECO GROUP LIMITED Uganda East Africa Infrastructure September 2022 Active
EcoPower Liberia Inc. Liberia West Africa Infrastructure March 2022 Active
Energy Systems Limited Uganda East Africa Infrastructure June 2022 Active
Enra Power Zimbabwe Southern Africa Infrastructure May 2023 Active
EPSILON ENERGIA SOLAR, SA Mozambique East Africa Infrastructure September 2022 Active
Equatorial Power B.V. Uganda East Africa Infrastructure July 2022 Active
Everlink Telesat Network Ltd Nigeria West Africa Infrastructure November 2022 Active
FINCA Plus, LLC (Brightlife) Uganda East Africa Infrastructure March 2022 Active
Fincoop Savings and Cred Coop Malawi East Africa Infrastructure August 2022 Active
Fosera SolarSystems GMBH & CO, KGAA Ethiopia East Africa Infrastructure February 2021 Active
Givewatts East Africa Limited Kenya East Africa Infrastructure September 2022 Active
Goldi Solar (Pvt) Ltd India South Asia Infrastructure May 2023 Active
Green Impact Technologies Limited Malawi East Africa Infrastructure November 2022 Active
Greenergy Wind Corp Priv. Ltd India South Asia Infrastructure July 2022 Active
Havenhill Synergy Limited Nigeria West Africa Infrastructure January 2021 Active
Hinckley Ewaste recycling limited Nigeria West Africa Infrastructure April 2023 Active
Hyperteck Electrical Services Limited Kenya East Africa Infrastructure January 2023 Active
Ignite Mocambique, Lda Mozambique East Africa Infrastructure October 2022 Active
Inclusive Energy Ltd India South Asia Infrastructure September 2022 Active
Insolation Energy Limited India South Asia Infrastructure March 2023 Active
Kawaida Collaborative Limited Zambia East Africa Infrastructure June 2022 Active
Knights & Apps Limited Kenya East Africa Infrastructure January 2023 Active
L Solution Limited Tanzania East Africa Infrastructure January 2021 Active
Lanforce Trading (Pvt) Ltd Zimbabwe Southern Africa Infrastructure April 2021 Active
Lean Energy Solutions Limited Kenya East Africa Infrastructure August 2022 Active
Loom Solar Private Limited India South Asia Infrastructure January 2023 Active
Mibawa Suppliers Kenya East Africa Infrastructure December 2021 Active
Mobile Mart Kenya East Africa Infrastructure April 2023 Active
Mobile Power Ltd Sierra Leone West Africa Infrastructure December 2022 Active
MPower Ventures AG Zambia East Africa Infrastructure October 2021 Active
Munyax Eco Limited Rwanda East Africa Infrastructure December 2022 Active
Mwezi Limited Kenya East Africa Infrastructure August 2021 Active
Natfort Investments (Private) Zimbabwe Southern Africa Infrastructure October 2022 Active
Ndkay Zambia Limited Zambia East Africa Infrastructure February 2023 Active
New Age Solar Technologies(U) Ltd Uganda East Africa Infrastructure December 2022 Active
Nexgen Energy & Allied Services Ltd Nigeria West Africa Infrastructure January 2022 Active
NURU SARLU Congo Central Africa Infrastructure September 2021 Active
NXT GRID B.V. Nigeria West Africa Infrastructure April 2022 Active
Opes Solutions Limited Rwanda East Africa Infrastructure September 2022 Active
OTAGO Pte. Ltd. Cambodia Southeast Asia Infrastructure August 2021 Active
PAS Solar Limited Nigeria West Africa Infrastructure February 2021 Active
Pavicon (K) Limited Kenya East Africa Infrastructure February 2023 Active
Pawame Holdings Ltd Kenya East Africa Infrastructure March 2021 Active
Powerlive Zimbabwe Loan-II Zimbabwe Southern Africa Infrastructure March 2023 Active
Powerlive Zimbabwe Private Limited Zimbabwe Southern Africa Infrastructure February 2021 Active
Rafode Limited Kenya East Africa Infrastructure February 2022 Active
Raheja Solar Food Proc. Pv Ltd India South Asia Infrastructure July 2022 Active
RDG Collective Zambia East Africa Infrastructure November 2021 Active
Redavia GmbH Kenya East Africa Infrastructure November 2021 Active
Regain Thirty Seven Zimbabwe Southern Africa Infrastructure June 2022 Active
Saatvik Green Energy India South Asia Infrastructure March 2023 Active
Smarter Grid International Nigeria West Africa Infrastructure February 2023 Active
Solar Aid Limited Uganda East Africa Infrastructure September 2021 Active
Solar Nation Uganda East Africa Infrastructure March 2023 Active
Solar Panda Kenya East Africa Infrastructure October 2021 Active
Solar Works B.V. Mozambique East Africa Infrastructure December 2021 Active
Solar Works B.V. (Loan II) Mozambique East Africa Infrastructure March 2023 Active
Solar91 Cleantech Pvt Ltd India South Asia Infrastructure July 2022 Active
SolarAfrica Energy (Pty) Ltd South Africa Southern Africa Infrastructure November 2022 Active
Sollatek Electronics(Kenya) Kenya East Africa Infrastructure June 2022 Active
Solmenz Engineering Ventures Nig Ltd Nigeria West Africa Infrastructure March 2022 Active
SOSTAP Limited Uganda East Africa Infrastructure August 2022 Active
Spenomatic Kenya Limited Kenya East Africa Infrastructure December 2022 Active
Sunculture Kenya Limited Kenya East Africa Infrastructure October 2021 Active
Sunshell Technology Solutions India South Asia Infrastructure July 2022 Active
Swelect Energy Systems Limited India South Asia Infrastructure April 2023 Active
Taatisolar Namibia (Pty) Ltd. Namibia Southern Africa Infrastructure January 2023 Active
ThirdWave Power Rwanda East Africa Infrastructure February 2023 Active
Vitalite Zambia Zambia East Africa Infrastructure November 2021 Active
Wana Solutions Uganda Limited Uganda East Africa Infrastructure July 2022 Active
Weast Trading Congo Central Africa Infrastructure April 2023 Active
WidEnergy Africa Limited Zambia East Africa Infrastructure March 2022 Active
WINDGEN POWER USA INC Sierra Leone West Africa Infrastructure June 2022 Active
X-Solar Systems Ltd Kenya East Africa Infrastructure December 2022 Active
Yellow Digital Retailers Ltd Malawi East Africa Infrastructure August 2022 Active
ZIZ SA Chad Central Africa Infrastructure May 2023 Active
Zunroof Tech Private Limited India South Asia Infrastructure March 2022 Active

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