Press Releases

Press release: GE Africa, the U.S. African Development Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development Launch Round III of the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge in Three New Countries

  • GE Africa, USADF and USAID launched Round III of the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge in Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia.
  • Round III of the Challenge will award 9 new grants of up to $100,000 each to African companies providing off-grid technologies and solutions, as part of a three-year initiative led by USADF.
  • This three-year initiative will reach $5.0 million and 50 awards and expects to reach over 200,000 people.
  • The Off-Grid Energy Challenge is part of Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid Sub-initiative of Power Africa, which aims to drive private investment in off-grid and small-scale energy solutions.

NAIROBI, KENYA- July 25, 2015- During President Obama’s trip to Nairobi to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF), in collaboration with GE Africa and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), announced the expansion of Round III of the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge. This third round of the challenge is open to entrepreneurs and energy companies in Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia with a sum total of up to $900,000 in grants to be awarded to three award winners in each country. Selected winners will have demonstrated creative and innovative solutions to deliver renewable, reliable, and affordable energy to underserved populations in these countries. Grant applications from African companies, organizations, and individuals providing offgrid energy solutions are being accepted from July 29 through September 9, 2015 and can be accessed at
The Off-Grid Energy Challenge, part of Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid sub-initiative is funded by GE Africa, USADF, and USAID in order to promote innovative business solutions utilizing renewable resources to increase economic activity. The challenge will promote innovative solutions that further develop, scaleup, or extend the use of proven technologies for off-grid renewable energy in sectors such as solar, wind, and biogas. 
Initially launched in 2013, the first and second rounds of the challenge resulted in over 25 awards of $100,000 each to innovative African-owned companies and entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania. Round III will now expand the competition to an additional three countries, unlocking opportunities for energy companies and consumers in Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia. The challenge, now in its third year, impacts over 150,000 people underserved by the traditional electric grid. 
By the completion of the third round, the challenge will have awarded $5.0 million through 50 individual grants.
“The expansion of the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge to three new countries will further help light up communities currently in the dark,” says Power Africa Coordinator Andrew Herscowitz. “Power Africa is investing in local entrepreneurs poised to expand access to electricity and opportunity.”

GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving, and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company’s website at
GE Africa, a subsidiary of General Electric, Inc., delivers innovative technology solutions for regional challenges to help its customers support growth throughout the continent. In particular, GE Energy is providing a host of advanced solutions in water, oil & gas, and energy delivery technologies, with a focus on innovative localized energy solutions.

The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF), a public corporation in the U.S. federal government, funds African-owned enterprises, cooperatives and community-based organizations to build capacity and expand economic activities. In 19 countries with over 350 project grants, USADF is benefiting more than a million and a half Africans. USADF operates as the only U.S. agency exclusively centered on an African-led, grassroots development model to create pathways to prosperity for underserved communities. For more information on applying to the Challenge, go to

In 2013, President Obama launched Power Africa, an innovative partnership of private sector partners, African governments, public funders, and technical institutions to double access to electricity in subSaharan Africa where more than 600 million people currently lack access. Two years after its launch, Power Africa has helped transactions expected to generate over 4,100 megawatts of new, cleaner power generation throughout sub-Saharan Africa reach financial close.