The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in support of the U.S. Government-led Power Africa initiative, launched a “Solar Home System Kick-Starter Program for Malawi” to expand energy access in the country via solar home systems (SHS). Power Africa will commit USD $5 million of support to the program, with USD $1.5 million going towards results-based grants for SHS companies. Starting in early 2019, the program will offer three pillars of support to successful program applicants: results-based grant finance, operational support and access to working capital financiers. Requests for Application (RFA) are now open until 22 March 2019
The SHS Kick-Starter Program aims to catalyze the increased investment and rapid growth in the sector over a three-year period. Through building coalitions within the donor community, the program complements and amplifies World Bank efforts to energize the SHS market in Malawi.
“We estimate that the program will allow 100,000 to 150,000 households with access to power, bringing in up to $22.5 million of foreign direct investment into Malawi” said United States Mission Director Littleton Tazewell.
A wide range of partners are supporting the program, including local financiers (FDH Bank, Kuwa Capital, National Bank of Malawi and Standard Bank), international financiers (Lion’s Head Global Partners and SunFunder) and awareness-raising institutions (SolarAid).
The USAID Southern Africa Energy Program, a is a five-year, 11 country program funded by USAID in support of the U.S. Government-led Power Africa initiative. To date, Power Africa’s more than 150 private and public-sector partners have committed more than $56 billion to mobilize and organize international efforts to electrify Africa.