The US African Development Foundation; USADF in collaboration with GE Africa is inviting proposals from entrepreneurs in Ghana that can provide innovative renewable-energy solutions or off-grid energy proven technologies for boosting economic activities in rural areas.
The entrepreneurs would each benefit from a $100,000 grant to increase access to reliable, affordable and sustainable power supply in deprived communities whilst helping to ensure responsible, transparent and effective management of energy resources.
The initiative forms part of the $ 2.4 million Power Africa Project which is ongoing in Nigeria and Kenya to supply power to communities not served by existing power grids. Dubbed the ‘Off-grid Energy Challenge’, the winners will have near-term solutions to the power needs of productive and commercial activities, including agriculture production and processing, off-farm businesses, and commercial enterprises in the deprived communities.
Speaking to JOY BUSINESS, Christoph Anagbonu who is the Managing Partner for J.B & Associates, the local representative of USADF explained that interested local businesses only need to make a business case for selection.
‘The message is out there to the companies to go into these areas and find out where they don’t have electricity already but there might be some productivity that needs electricity. For instance in some rural areas that do not have electricity, there may be industries like extraction of oil, but if they have electricity they might make use of machinery that could extract oil at a lower cost to propel their economic activities. All we need is for your proposal to be able to solve the problems identified – so that if for instance you think provision of solar energy to that particular community can benefit the community, then you can come up with the proposal and present that to USADF,’ he said.
He outlined further details about the implementation of the off-grid initiative expected to add to the country’s energy mix whilst reducing poverty levels especially in the rural communities.
‘Your proposal should be such that within this $100,000, you are able to provide the off grid power to, let’s say it’s a typical village of about 100 or 150 people. You also need to prove how sustainable your initiative would be. In terms of timelines the proposals must be submitted by the 7 th of July – that the deadline for the submission of proposals. The proposals will then be reviewed within a week or two and then the best 3 proposals will be selected and announced and then the grant offered to them to embark their activities. It’s supposed to be a one year project – meaning within this one year funds will be disbursed. The $100,000 is not going to be at a go but disbursed depending on what you’re presenting’ he explained.
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