IFC to aid expansion of Off Grid Electric in Tanzania - CNBC Africa

IFC to aid expansion of Off Grid Electric in Tanzania

East Africa

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Off Grid Electric aims to reach 200,000 households in Tanzania by the end of 2015. PHOTO: onpointpr.co.za

The solar leasing company, which provides home solar electric systems to consumers in rural and urban Tanzania, aims to reach 200,000 households in the East African nation by the end of 2015.

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“IFC’s backing and expertise will help us bring affordable power to millions of people across Africa. We look forward to continuing this important work IFC’s support,” said Off Grid Electric chief executive, Xavier Helgesen.

According to the IFC, the new facility consists of a 4.5 million dollar loan provided through the IFC Cleantech Innovation Facility and an additional 2.5 million dollar loan from Cordiant Capital of Montreal in Canada.

“The need for renewable energy is urgent in Tanzania, where each year, low-income households spend over 900 million dollars to meet their lighting, cooking and mobile charging needs. Many use kerosene to fuel their lamps and back-up generators,” the IFC said.

“Solar energy offers a cleaner, longer-lasting alternative to kerosene fuels, which contribute heavily to greenhouse gases. Off Grid Electric offers a low cost model for households [while] reducing the upfront cost to customers and minimizing the risks associated with maintenance and repair.”

The corporation also stated that families can also opt to top up their solar systems in small increments, which may be more in line with their finances.

Oumar Seydi, IFC director for Eastern and Southern Africa added, “As developing countries move to a greener, low-carbon growth paths, the private sector will play a critical role in expanding access to energy.

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“IFC supports as the innovation of Off Grid Electric, which provides low-cost, clean energy solutions to the millions of people in Africa not connected to the grid,” he said.  

Off Grid Electric, specifically, has distributed nearly 35,000 solar home systems in the Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Mwanza regions.