Umoja Incubator Launched To Support Renewable Energy Projects

The participants of the event

SERENGETI ENERGY,in collaboration with the Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN),has launched the Umoja Incubator to help aspiring entrepreneurs in renewable energy bring their project to financial close.

Through the incubator, Serengeti Energy and PFAN will identify and support renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa that, for different reasons, are unable to reach beyond the initial planning phase.

The selected developers will receive assistance to improve the bankability of their projects through access to commercial and technical knowledge, and finally securing the funding.

Director of Renewable Energy at the Ministry of Energy, Seth Mahu speaking at an event to introduce the incubator in Accra said the project has come at such an opportune time to help de-risk the preparatory costs of renewable energy projects on the continent.

He said with the continent’s average annual population growth rate of 2.5%, about 90 million people needed to be connected every year for the next 8 years, to achieve the SDG7 by 2030 with a corresponding US$40billion investment yearly.

He emphasised the importance of the private sector participation in the provision of modern electricity services to improve the social and economic wellbeing of the people as well as bridge the developmental gap.

“I see Umoja Incubator playing a pivotal role in supporting private sector actors to package their proposals, business plans and concepts to secure the needed financing to participate in these and many other flagships renewable energy projects on the continent,” he said.

PFAN Country Coordinator, Agnes Ansah Osei speaking with the media said Umoja, which in Swahili means ”unity” or “togetherness”, has been established to increase access to modern electricity services
She said the partnership between Serengeti Energy and PFAN is based on shared values and the common goal of providing clean and renewable energy to sub-Saharan Africa.

“The application period is open until September 4, 2022, after which a jury consisting of top-tier industry partners will evaluate the projects,” she said.

The best candidates for the programme will be invited to a one-week workshop in Cape Town, in which the winner of the first Umoja Incubator will be announced.

The programme is financed by Serengeti’s Technical Assistance Facility that consists of the German KreditanstaltfuerWiederaufbau (KfW), the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

BY Jamila Akweley Okertchiri