The US African Development Foundation (USADF), in collaboration with partners Power Africa and GE, is proud to announce the winners of the 2017 Women in Energy Challenge in Uganda, where only 20% of the population is connected to electricity.
Joint Energy and Environments Projects (JEEP) and Conservation and Development Uganda Limited (CODE) will each be awarded a grant of $100 000 to expand their renewable energy enterprises to reach women beneficiaries. Dr. Maria Bawabya Senkezi, JEEP’s Chairwoman, says investing in women entrepreneurs is critical because “women invest money back into the community.”
The Women in Energy Challenge, part of the Off-Grid Energy Challenge, was launched in 2016 by USADF and GE to identify and accelerate enterprises either led by women or benefitting women, and help African entrepreneurs compete in the global economy.
The Off-Grid Energy Challenge is a part of Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid initiative, which aims to drive private investment in off-grid and small-scale renewable energy solutions. By funding energy entrepreneurs, USADF is bridging the energy gap for some of Uganda’s most vulnerable populations.
The U.S. African Development Foundation is the only US agency dedicated entirely to Africa, and solely funding 100% African-owned businesses and African entrepreneurs. USADF aims to promote innovative solutions that increase access to reliable, affordable and sustainable power, particularly for vulnerable populations who will have little to no access to grid power.
“We launched this Women in Energy Challenge to find the best and the brightest female entrepreneurs that are making a difference in bringing electricity to rural communities. We are very pleased to see that these women-led enterprises are showing promise in finding alternative solutions to Uganda’s energy crisis,” says C.D. Glin, USADF President and CEO.
“Providing energy access to Africa’s population is a priority for us,” says Jay Ireland, GE Africa President and CEO.
“The Women in Energy Challenge is one of our commitments towards supporting local entrepreneurs and we are delighted that African women-owned enterprises are solving local challenges.”
In Uganda, where USADF has a $5 million co-funding agreement with the Government of Uganda, USADF has awarded three Off-Grid Challenge grants to energy enterprises.
Since 2013, USADF has partnered with GE and Power Africa to fund over 70 off-grid energy companies in nine countries in Africa and invested over $7 million in Africa’s energy entrepreneurs, which has already resulted in over 20 000 actual connections benefitting over 100 000 people.