AfDB/SEFA Invests $10 Million In CrossBoundary Access To Scale Solar Mini-Grids In Africa
18 Oct 2023

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CrossBoundary Access, Africa’s first blended finance facility for mini-grids, has secured $10 million in funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA). This investment will further boost CrossBoundary Access’s efforts to bring clean energy to rural Africa through solar mini-grids.

Last year, CrossBoundary Access raised $25 million from ARCH Emerging Markets Partners Limited, Bank of America, and Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund for its mini-grid pipeline. With the new funding from AfDB/SEFA, CrossBoundary Access plans to deploy a total of $150 million over the next three years, with the goal of providing renewable electricity to one million people in Africa.

These solar-powered mini-grids combine solar and batteries to offer 24/7 grid-quality power to households and businesses. The initiative aims to bridge the electricity access gap in rural areas of Africa, where nearly 580 million people lack access to electricity, hindering economic growth and poverty reduction.

CrossBoundary Access employs a blended finance approach, partnering with impact-driven institutional capital, to unlock the necessary funding for rural electrification in Africa. The goal is to bring renewable electricity to one million people, aligning with the International Energy Agency’s estimation that the solar mini-grid sector requires $187 billion to achieve universal energy access by 2030.

Lynne Wesonga, Associate Director at CrossBoundary Access, emphasized the significance of this investment in bringing clean energy to rural Africa and praised the maturity of the mini-grid sector.

Joao Cunha, Manager of SEFA at AfDB, expressed excitement about partnering with CrossBoundary Access and the potential to demonstrate a viable project finance model that attracts more commercial financiers to scale up renewable electricity access in Africa.

Gabriel Davies, Managing Director and co-founder of CrossBoundary Access, sees this investment as a crucial step toward unlocking the capital needed to expand the mini-grid sector and provide renewable power to African homes and businesses.