Energise Africa is an initiative founded by Ethex company from UK and Landahand. The latter is a company based in Dutch. The main aim of putting up the initiative was to give an affordable and clean energy supply to Africans. This was to happen through the use of impact investment rather. This helps in eliminating the donation by charities. This was to ensure that those who do not access the grid also enjoy benefits brought by electricity.
Through the initiative, investors are in a position to tell the social and environmental impacts of their investments in the solar ventures. They are also able to track the benefits enjoyed by families through accessing solar energy. Furthermore, the investors are able to get a financial return of between 4% and 6% annually. However, this is a risky investment where one is not sure of getting returns. The initiative is a social enterprise that is on a mission of changing the social being of people. Each person in the team is working towards eliminating energy shortage. Moreover, they are working on having a real difference in Africa.
Energize Africa has helped to complete 21 investment campaigns. This has helped to raise investment worth more than $2.5 million. This helped to raise energy access in Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, and Uganda. Since the launch in August 2017, it has helped to offer affordable solar energy access to above 23,000 households. This shows how people are ready to impact change using their money.
Currently, the initiative is running a listing campaign that is assisting rural families in Kenya. The investment opportunity is curtsey of Azuri Technologies. The Azuri is working out of Cambridge in the UK. Through the campaign, an investor can use £200 to assist one Kenyan family to buy a solar home system. Payments can then be made in monthly installments for 30 months. After the 30 months, the family takes the full ownership of the system. The family can then benefit from free electricity for a period of not less than 5 years.
Financing such projects could have been expensive be it not that the likes of SolarWorks, Azuri Technologies, SunTransfer, Sollatek and SolarNow from the UK did not come in to financially assist. Families can use the money they spend daily on kerosene to own solar panel. This can be paid for 30 months doing away with energy expenditure thereafter.
The initiative has received much support from UK aid and Virgin Unite. The two have offered support since the launch until now. A family needs to invest a half of the required amount. The UK aid comes in to cater for half or a quarter of the invested amount. The initiative initially aimed at offering electricity to homes. But they are now doing the same to clinics and schools in Kenya. Currently, 35 health clinics and 8000 school pupils have benefited from the initiative.
Energize Africa do not have a way of payment but instead, they use a crowdfunding website. The solar venture can use the website to raise funds and use it to support the rollout of pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) solar. The PAYGO solar is common in the solar industry though it is expensive to acquire. It is projected that in the coming years one will need $2.5 billion to fund such systems globally.