The United States African Development Foundation, USADF and All On yesterday officially announced the opening of the 2022 Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge, billed to make available up to US$100,000 in blended finance to each selected enterprise.
The yearly challenge has been a multi-year synergy that fish out and provides innovative off-grid solutions to power up unserved and underserved areas in Nigeria.
Packaged through half a decade partnership between USADF, and All On, the parties are expected to jointly provide funding to 100 percent African-owned and operated small and medium enterprises that improve energy access through off-grid energy solutions spanning solar, wind, hydro, biomass, and gas technologies.
In the past, the Challenge has made available funds to 37 companies, totaling US$3.7 million in blended finance. Since inception, the Challenge has impacted an estimated 16,000 people, including 4,000 smallholder farmers, through clean energy.
The Rockefeller Foundation, anchor partner of the recently launched Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, is also providing support to the All On Hub for the program.
“We remain extremely encouraged that the Challenge is able to fund another cohort of strong winners in spite of a continued challenging Covid environment,” said Wiebe Boer, CEO, All On.
“Eight of the 13 winning enterprises in 2021 include women in leadership roles, and we hope to see this number grow this year,” he added.
Travis Adkins, President and CEO, USADF said:
“Insufficient energy access has stifled economic activity, private investment, and job creation in Nigeria, all of which is needed to lift more than 100 million people out of poverty there and set them on a path to prosperity through improved livelihoods.
“We’re proud that this force multiplier partnership serves as a model for supporting African enterprises in finding innovative and cost-effective ways to deliver clean energy to underserved and marginalized communities across Nigeria while combatting climate change, consistent with the Paris Agreement and sustainable development goals,” he added.
Key difference in the 2022 Challenge will be a focus on the intersection of agriculture and clean energy, and even more targeted focus on productive use applications than in previous years.
“We are extremely proud of the continued success of the collaboration between The Rockefeller Foundation, the newly launched Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), and the All On Hub,” said Joseph Nganga, Managing Director of GEAPP in Africa.
“The Hub has been instrumental in nurturing Nigerian enterprises that are making a difference in communities throughout Nigeria, and this Challenge is an excellent opportunity to accelerate our shared mission to nurture green businesses and jobs in the communities that are most in need.”
The 2022 Challenge is intended to identify a range of enterprises with solutions that will solve pain points and challenges that ultimately improve livelihoods and local economies in Nigeria.
Eligible enterprises may be developers of their own technology and/or acquiring and implementing technologies developed elsewhere.
All applicants must be legally registered in Nigeria, be 100 percent African-owned and operated, and demonstrate the capacity to track and manage project resources and operate in good standing with the local governments in their areas of operation.
Up to US$50,000 will be provided in the form of convertible debt from All On along with up to US$50,000 in grant capital provided by USADF and the Rockefeller Foundation through the All On Hub for each selected company. Challenge winners will be selected based on their demonstrated abilities to increase sustainable energy access, specifically off-grid solutions, and extend the delivery of electrification to unserved and underserved communities throughout Nigeria.
Interested contestants are advised to access the application form on, www.all-on.com/the-all-on-hub or www.usadf.gov/apply, while general inquiries and applications should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application closes on March 18, 2022.