Stichting Clean Energy and Energy Inclusion for Africa (CEI Africa) announces its intention to award a results-based financing (RBF) grant for a total of up to USD 1,886,700 to WeLight, a green mini-grid (GMG) developer, for the densification and construction of mini-grids in rural communities in Mali.
WeLight was awarded the RBF grant to support the densification of five mini-grids and the construction of nine mini-grids to connect rural communities in Mali, resulting in nearly 35,000 individuals gaining access to productive and renewable electricity.
The project marks a significant milestone in WeLight’s expansion and ongoing efforts to electrify Mali. Having achieved initial successes in the rural areas of Madagascar, WeLight is positioned to amplify energy access in Mali with the ambitious aim of electrifying 50 to 70 villages within the next two years. The country faces considerable electrification challenges, especially in remote rural areas off the main grid. Concurrently, Mali has tremendous untapped solar energy potential.
WeLight launched its activities in Mali in 2021 with the installation of five solar mini-grids resulting in 1,000 connections. This new phase is a testament to the positive results of the operator’s initial efforts. In the RBF-supported project, WeLight anticipates the creation of over 3,500 new connections. Once electricity is provided, WeLight fosters services tailored to the unique needs of residents and the village, emphasizing rural entrepreneurial development. These services span powering schools and public services, refrigeration, productive agricultural services, small-scale industries, eateries, and other utilities.
CEI Africa has allocated EUR 21M to support project developers to finance GMGs through RBF, including the provision of technical assistance. Renewvia, Kudura, and PowerHive were selected in CEI Africa’s first call for site-specific applications. WeLight’s project supports CEI Africa’s goal of improving energy access for households in rural sub-Saharan Africa, and in this case in a country where more than 53.4 percent of the population still lacks energy access.
“This collaboration will strengthen rural electrification efforts in Mali,” stated Moez Zouaoui, the country coordinator for WeLight Mali. “It signifies a considerable milestone, reaching nine additional villages and 3,500 residents. Access to productive electricity is vital, as it enables socio-economic development across various domains for the community. We extend our heartfelt thanks to CEI, as well as the Malian government and authorities, for their steadfast support in advancing rural energy access.”
“On behalf of CEI Africa, we are delighted to support the expansion of energy access in Mali,” said Claudia Vroom, Board member of CEI Africa. WeLight’s off-grid solutions empower communities by providing reliable power that fuels economic and social development.”
The RBF grant award is pursuant to fulfillment of certain conditions precedent agreed to between CEI Africa, and WeLight, which includes, among others, the execution of a Grant Agreement. The RBF grant funding will be disbursed upon completion of new electricity connections.
Established in 2018, WeLight delivers clean, affordable, reliable, and productive energy to remote rural populations in Madagascar and Sub-Saharan Africa. Targeting isolated villages, WeLight significantly drives their socio-economic growth. Our firm merges on-ground expertise with cutting-edge technology, integrating mini-grids and renewable energy sources to enable energy inclusion for these villages. Notably, WeLight is the premier company in Madagascar to earn the “B Corp” certification, a prestigious international distinction awarded to businesses upholding the most stringent social and environmental standards.
About CEI Africa:
CEI Africa was established by the German development finance institution KfW on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in 2021 to improve access to energy for rural and peri-urban households and enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa. CEI Africa is managed by Triple Jump B.V., Persistent, and GreenMax Capital Group. It is a one-stop shop for mini-grid developers and other off-grid energy companies, offering a variety of financing instruments. The implementation of the Foundation’s Crowdlending window, which provides debt and investment products in collaboration with European Crowdlenders, is led by Persistent. CEI Africa has allocated EUR 28M to support off-grid energy companies and mini-grid project developers through co-financing with Crowdlenders, including the provision of Technical Assistance. GreenMax manages the Results-based and impact-based financing window, offering results-based financing grants and forgivable loans.