Photo by NDF: From left Leena Klossner (NDF), Leena-Kaisa Mikkola (MFA) and Pasi Hellman (NDF)

The new Energy and Environment Partnership Trust Fund covering Southern and East Africa goes live with a combined commitment of €25 million from Finland and NDF.

NDF hosted a delegation from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA Finland) on Friday for the signing of a €15 million financing commitment to the new Energy and Environment Partnership Trust Fund covering Southern and East Africa (EEP Africa).

EEP Africa, secures support

In a statement, EEP noted that the new financing commitment from Finland will support clean energy access and sustainable and inclusive green growth in 15 countries in Southern and East Africa and complements an additional €10 million approved by NDF’s own Board of Directors at the end of 2017.

A second signing with the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) for an additional contribution is expected soon to follow.

Pasi Hellman, NDF managing director, commented: “Finland is a founding owner of NDF, and we are very proud that today Finland acknowledges the growing capacity and reach of this institution, entrusting us with the legacy of this highly effective programme and with additional resources to continue to deliver climate impact, clean energy access and green growth on the ground in our partner countries.”

“EEP has been a flagship programme for the Ministry, not only due to its size but especially due the results that it has achieved,” said Leena-Kaisa Mikkola, Director General for the Department of Africa and the Middle East at MFA Finland.

“EEP has been a true driver in the renewables sector in Southern and East Africa, and the transition to a Trust Fund setting under NDF will open up a whole new range of opportunities related to financing of innovative renewable energy technologies in the region.”

Mikkola added: “We see that EEP fits in extremely well with other renewable energy sector activities of NDF and it can also serve as a pipeline for entities such as Finnfund and the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Program.”

Driving clean energy initiatives

EEP has channelled more than €57 million to more than 200 pioneering projects leveraging innovative clean energy technologies and energy access business models to transform lives and livelihoods with particular focus on the very poor.

EEP projects have improved energy access for more than 900,000 households, roughly equivalent to the population of Finland, and contributed to more than 8,000 new jobs, of which more than 3,000 accrued to women.

EEP financing has also triggered direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions of more than 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent and leveraged more than €150 million in additional investment.

Now under NDF leadership, EEP Africa transitions from a fixed term programme to an open-ended multi-donor trust fund and climate finance facility, fully aligned with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

This new chapter combines the strong EEP Africa brand and proven results-based delivery channel for blended finance and green growth together with a dynamic evolution of the facility, bringing on board new financing instruments and closer engagement with the downstream investor community.

“It makes good sense for us at NDF to take the lead with EEP Africa,” explained NDF vice president and deputy managing director, Leena Klossner.

“We can provide a sustainable base for longer-term planning and resource mobilisation combined with in-house capabilities to deliver a mix of instruments to match the real needs of projects on the ground,” Klossner said.

Call for proposals

EEP Africa will operate as an open, competitive challenge fund providing early stage grant and catalytic financing to innovative clean energy projects, technologies and business models.

The first open call for proposals is now in planning to be launched in May 2018 during Africa Utility Week in Cape Town, South Africa.

A service provider team sourced from KPMG Finland was recruited through an open, international competitive selection process during the course of 2017 and is now in place and providing implementation and coordination support from regional service hubs in South Africa and Kenya.

About EEP

EEP was first launched in Southern and East Africa in 2010 under the leadership of MFA Finland with co-financing from Austria and since 2011 the United Kingdom.

It has been a leader at the forefront of efforts to fast track clean energy access and sustainable and inclusive green growth across the Southern and East Africa region.

African Utility Week