March 2, 2015 (Rueil-Malmaison, France) – ARE member Schneider Electric in partnership with, CDC Group – the UK Department for International Development (DFID), European Investment Bank, FISEA – PROPARCO,OFID, and AFD- FFEM, announce the launch of the Energy Access Fund to improve access to sustainable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa. The new fund will transform lives and stimulate economic development across Africa by providing access to electricity for a million people by 2020.

The Professional Private Equity Fund which will be managed by Aster Capital and advised by Energy Access Venture (EAV) company based in Africa, has secured commitments of EUR 54.5 million to invest in 5-year instruments for around 20 African SME.

625 million people living in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity. Lack of electricity holds back social progress, economic growth and environmental improvements. The Energy Access Ventures Fund will to provide long-term funding to support access to energy for the poorest populations by strengthening local energy infrastructure.

The Fund will target smaller businesses in Africa that specialize in promoting low-carbon and low cost electricity access solutions in rural areas and close to main towns and that cannot access regular finance. It will focus in a first instance on Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania,
Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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