BusinessDay

Why a Nigerian tech company issued Africa’s first green bond to deploy solar energy

In a bid to provide over 14GW off-grid solar energy by 2030 across sub-Saharan Africa, OneWattSolar, a startup using digital solutions built on a Blockchain platform to provide off-grid renewable energy has issued the first series of its $24.33 million (N10 billion) Green Bond Issuance Programme.

Founded in 2018, OneWattSola is allowing thousands of Africans to pay for solar energy using blockchain tokens without having to pay for the solar system infrastructure, which is funded through financial backers.

In its latest move, the clean energy outfit announced the first Corporate Green Sukuk in Africa and the first Corporate Green Bond for an off-grid renewable energy project.

Breaking down the implication of issuing Africa’s first green bond, Jubril Adeojo, co-founder and chief operating officer of OneWattSolar, says issuing bonds will help accelerate growth and “attract institutional investors interested in investing in green economy”

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“This issuance has enabled us to commercially roll out our two flagship products – CHIOMA being the Internet of Things-enabled Digital Assets & Hardware Technology, and AMINA being the Advanced Artificial Intelligence Software Technology,” Adeojo added.

He noted that the two products are strategically designed to deliver excellent service to its customers, as well as to ensure that customers’ experience journey is seamless and memorable.

“It is also noteworthy that all our partners are indigenous players working together to democratise, decarbonise, decentralise, and digitise sustainable energy access to our reputable locally owned businesses and households, while creating numerous jobs for African youths and women,” Adeojo explained.
The bond issuance was led by Comercio Partners, a Lagos-based investment bank and supported by Nigerian Shari’ah-compliant fund manager, Marble Capital Limited.

“As a tech company, we look forward to developing and rolling out new customer-centric products, alongside the issuance of more green bonds and Sukuks, as we use this issuance to commence the first step of our journey of a million miles,” Adeojo said.
When asked what qualified the company for the bond issuance, Adeojo attributed it to the bankable business model and track record in Nigeria’s renewable energy space.

Although the clean energy outfit has only been four years in the making, it’s part of GoSolar Africa, a renewable energy company that’s been operating in Africa since 2010.

According to the United Nations (UN) Fact Sheet on Climate Change, “Africa is the continent’s most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” with 0.8 metric tons of carbon emissions per capita in the year 2000.

To solve this problem, OneWattSolar installs, maintains, operates, and manages solar rooftop systems in a way that entails zero upfront cost.