The African Development Bank emerged Development Finance Institution of the Year at the 2020 African Solar Industry Solar Award (AFSIA) , in recognition of its increasing solar energy footprint across Africa.
The award, from the African Solar Industry Association (AFSIA) presented 29 October, during the virtual African Energy Forum, underscores the critical role the Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) is playing in supporting various solar initiatives and decentralized solutions. The African Development Bank was shortlisted with the World Bank and the West African Development Bank.
“Congratulations to the AfDB team on winning this inaugural DFI of the Year Award. The Bank’s hard work through the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has been unanimously recognized by the independent jury for its contribution to support the development of distributed solar solutions, said John van Zuylen, CEO of the African Solar Industry Association. “I look forward to AfDB’s participation in the AFSIA Solar Awards next year, hopefully with an even more impactful program.”
AFSIA(link is external) is the reference association for solar professionals in Africa and promotes solar power across the continent.
The AFSIA award is the annual recognition of organizations, companies, or individuals considered to have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion and advancement of solar use across the African continent. Over 130 applications were submitted this year, in 15 different categories and reviewed by the industry’s most experienced experts.
Launched in 2012, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) is a multi-donor Special Fund managed by the African Development Bank, which provides catalytic finance to unlock private sector investments in renewable energy. SEFA has become one of the continent’s leading facilities offering project preparation support for private sector-led renewable energy projects, and for helping governments to create a more favorable environment for private sector investments.
Last year, SEFA was converted into a larger blended finance facility around three thematic areas of green baseload, green mini-grids, and energy efficiency. It also spearheaded the establishment of innovative blended finance initiatives such as the $95 million Facility for Energy Inclusion Off-Grid Energy Access Fund(link is external) (FEI OGEF), one of the largest African strategies for financing household solar businesses. FEI OGEF set a new standard for commercial and capital structures, as well as operating models, and is expected to contribute to the installation of over 1.5 million energy access solutions by leveraging $500 million of third-party investment.
“This award will be an inspiration to all of us to do more: to speed up implementation, to scale-up investments and to seize the synergies with all the great efforts underway across the continent, “ said Daniel Schroth, the Bank’s Acting Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.
In line with its New Deal on Energy, the Bank has significantly increased its investments in the solar sector in recent years for both large-scale developments, such as the Ouarzazate solar complex in Morocco, as well as various decentralized energy initiatives in the mini- and the off-grid sector at country and regional levels.