By Inès Magoum
The African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) is launching a call for innovative projects for $1.2 million in Africa. The initiative is aimed at financing companies and entrepreneurs providing sustainable solutions.
Seven African countries are involved in a call for innovations, recently launched by the African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF). They are Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
According to the UK government’s investment fund, interested entrepreneurs will have to present innovative solutions, such as improving people’s resilience to the effects of climate change, water supply or sustainable refrigeration on the African continent. “We will focus on renewable energy and green cooking projects,” the AEFC said.
Funding for green projects
The selected companies or entrepreneurs will receive $1.2 million from the AECF. This funding will allow participants to take their solutions from the prototype stage to the production phase.
This is not the AECF’s first initiative to support green entrepreneurship in Africa. In 2019, the investment fund organised the React Household Solar Round 2 competition. Selected small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Somalia received $20.8 million in interest-free loans, grants and technical assistance to provide solar home systems to rural households.
AEFC also supports the development of rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa through its Renewable Energy and Climate Change Adaptation in Sub-Saharan Africa (React SSA) competition, launched in 2018 in Bamako, Mali. The companies selected in the last edition received grants and/or interest-free loans of between $100,000 and $1.5 million each; as well as targeted technical assistance to improve access to electricity in this West African country.