South Africa

Africa: USAID Awards $2.6m Grants to Solar Energy Companies in Sub-Saharan Africa

Power Africa, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has announced grants totalling $2,620,650 to solar energy companies in sub-Saharan African countries.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the United States embassy on Wednesday.

The statement said the grants will provide reliable, affordable off-grid electricity to nearly 300 healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa.

It also said nearly 60 per cent of all healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity.

The grants will provide reliable, affordable off-grid electricity to about 300 healthcare facilities

According to the embassy, only 34 per cent of hospitals and 28 per cent of health clinics have reliable, 24-hour access to power.

"Energy is critical for powering essential devices, medical and sterilization equipment, diagnostics, cold storage for vaccines and medication, information technology, and lights to enable the delivery of continuous health care services. Efficient health services and responses to diseases - including COVID-19 - depend on reliable access to electricity," it said.

Power Africa is awarding grants to the following solar energy companies: Havenhill Synergy Ltd. (Nigeria), KYA-Energy Group (Togo), Muhanya Solar Ltd. (Zambia), Nanoé (Madagascar), OffGridBox (Rwanda), OnePower (Lesotho), PEG Solar (Ghana), SolarWorks! (Mozambique), and Zuwa Energy (Malawi).

These companies will utilise Power Africa funding to provide off-grid solar electricity solutions to 288 healthcare facilities across the nine countries represented.

"Solar energy holds great potential to expand and improve health care delivery in sub-Saharan Africa, and off-grid solar technology offers a clean, affordable, and smart solution to electrify healthcare facilities located beyond the reach of national electricity grids," said Mark Carrato, Power Africa acting coordinator.

"Power Africa's experience shows that off-grid solar energy systems can be rapidly deployed to even the most rural facilities.

"These awards demonstrate what we can accomplish when the public and private sectors join together to break down the barriers to reliable electricity for rural healthcare facilities," said Chris Milligan, counsellor to USAID, during a virtual event announcing the grant awardees.

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