More than 200 Scottish investors have invested or crowd-funded £15 million to help African communities gain access to clean energy, and boost efforts in the fight against climate
The initiative fuelling the change is the UK aid and Virgin investing money from private investors in solar power systems which are sold on to households and businesses in Africa.
According to the initiative’s website, over 452,000 people have been assisted in transitioning to solar energy, and away from emissions-generating kerosene and biomass as primary energy sources.
Although a 2019 study by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) named the ongoing use of biomass as a dire threat to the continent’s decarbonisation goals, Energise Africa has to-date reduced annual carbon-dioxide emissions by 100,000 tonnes per year.
Investors can participate by investing as little as £50 in one of several businesses partnered by Energise Africa. Investors are sent both an interest payment, and capital repayment every six months, with the option to reinvest. In the first three years of operation, the initiative has paid over £4.9 million in returns on the approximately £15 million capital invested to-date.
Some of the Partnered projects include supplying lights for fishing in Tanzania, whilst others power refrigeration for Kenyan farmers, and others focus on providing electricity to off-grid rural communities in Mozambique.
“As well as helping to tackle climate change, Energise Africa, backed by UK aid, is also giving everyone across the country the chance to earn potential interest on their investment.” Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack said: “It’s great to see Scots fighting climate change as part of these UK aid funded projects, especially in the year Glasgow will be hosting the COP26 global climate conference.
“Not only does it benefit communities in Africa but it also shows what a difference can be made when we work together to make more eco-friendly changes.”