• Monday, June 24, 2024
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US Africa Development Foundation invests $20m to create prosperity pathways in Nigeria

US Africa Development Foundation invests $20m to create prosperity pathways in Nigeria

In the last 10 years, the US Africa Development Foundation has sought to sustainably improve the lives and livelihoods of underserved Nigerian communities in both rural and urban areas.

USADF is a founding member of Power Africa established by the United States of America’s Congress to support and invest in African-owned and led enterprises. The foundation operates a participatory, locally-led and community-driven approach to development in Africa.

In Nigeria, it has invested over $20 million (N7.57 billion) in the last 10 years with a focus on early start entrepreneurs, cooperatives in agriculture and energy. The Foundation has projects in the northern part of Nigeria, Middle Belt, South West, South-South, and South East with impact measured using the triple bottom of impact on people, the environment, and profits. Nigeria occupies a significant position because of the scale of projects’ impact.

“We start in the communities with focus on food security, job creation, and power,” C.D. Glin, president and CEO of USADF said on Power Solutions, a Nigeria Info FM programme. “In Nigeria, we have investments in powers solutions such as solar, hydro, biomass, and biogas.”

Glin said USADF is driving energy access through the Power Africa for marginalised and underserved communities with a concentration on off-grid energy. Finding, funding and supporting early-stage energy entrepreneurs constitute the Foundation’s operational model. “We are investing in Nigerian energy solutions for Nigeria, that is, locally-led solutions. We bring capital and build local capacity.”

Through Power Africa, USADF and All On, an off-grid energy impact investing company seeded by Shell in Nigeria have established the Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge, a multi-year partnership to identify and help scale innovative off-grid solutions to “power up” unserved and underserved areas in Nigeria.

Sixteen Nigerian companies have been selected through the 2018 and 2019 editions. The winners of 2019 Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge were ICE Commercial Power, Sosai Renewables, Greenage Energy, Pirano Energy, Sholep Energy, Entric Power Systems, ACOB Lighting, NexGen Energy, and Protergia Nigeria. In the first edition of the Challenge in 2018, the recipients were Prado Power Ltd, Darway Coast, Auxano, Eastwind Labs, Alyx, Creeds Energy, and iKabin.

Although funding is important at the early stage of these enterprises, USADF also stresses the need for capacity building, which they believe is even more critical. The scale is also an important component in terms of how many people are impacted and the multiplier effect.