GE has announced that it will partner with, the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) to launch and co-fund the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge (the Power Africa Challenge), a three-year, USD $2 million challenge. The funding will award 20 or more grants of up to $100,000 each to indigenous African organizations providing off-grid solutions that deploy renewable resources and power economic activities.
United States government agencies and private corporations are working in concert with Power Africa, the White House-led initiative, to drive growth by increasing access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power and by helping to ensure responsible, transparent and effective management of energy resources.
The Power Africa Challenge, funded by GE Africa and USADF will benefit rural or urban populations currently underserved by existing utility companies. In addition, it will promote innovative solutions that further develop, scale-up or extend the use of proven technologies for off-grid energy. African-owned and operated businesses or organizations that are developing their own technologies, and/or acquiring and installing technology developed elsewhere, are eligible to apply.
GE and USADF will be supporting initiatives that:
• Provide off-grid energy to rural or urban regions currently lacking energy access;
• Expand markets, test innovations, leverage financing with the goal of increasing the delivery of off-grid energy to marginalized populations; and/or
• Introduce innovative payment or collection methods that can extend the reach of power delivery.
President and CEO for GE Africa, Jay Ireland said GE Africa is committed to supporting Africa’s efforts to solve the challenge of insufficient and inconsistent power supply.
He noted that the Power Africa Challenge will tap into expertise on how Africa’s challenges on power could be best solved from an African perspective.
“We bring in the technology, but the indigenous people on the ground also have valuable insights on what works best for Africa and innovative solutions to meet the power needs of the continent,” he said.
President and CEO for USADF, Shari Berenbach said USADF is pleased to be working with GE Africa on the Power Africa Challenge. She also noted, “USADF has been catalyzing people out of poverty for 30+ years. This initiative will help leverage more marginalized and underserved communities into positions to engage in and benefit from inclusive economic growth.”