4 May, 2023 News

Smart Energy Solutions for Africa calls for entrepreneurs

2 May 2023 – Smart Energy Solutions for Africa (SESA) is a Research and Innovation Project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon2020 programme and coordinated by the ICLEI European Secretariat (a non-profit entity based in Brussels). SESA was launched in October 2021 with a duration of 48 months and is being implemented in nine African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania. The SESA project is developing and testing sustainable energy solutions as well as promising business models to accelerate the green transition and the achievement of energy access goals in Africa.

SESA’s main objective is to support a diversity of affordable solutions that deliver access to reliable, efficient and sustainable energy services for all, creating business opportunities that can directly contribute to development. Selected innovations within the three areas of focus: (1) access to energy, (2) productive use of energy and (3) circular economy will be developed and initially tested in a modular demonstration case in Kenya and based on initial learnings, various aspects of the tested innovations will be validated in four countries: Ghana, South Africa, Malawi and Morocco. The learnings from these validation countries will strengthen the overall replicability of the technologies as well as business concepts. To initiate the replication process, four additional countries (Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda and Tanzania) will be supported to adopt the technologies with the most replication potential.

The uptake of new solutions and business models requires close cooperation between local start-ups, innovative entrepreneurs, industry, city administrations and research and academic institutions. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can play a key role in this process and thus, we are looking for Expressions of Interests (EOI) by suitable enterprises and innovators that are interested in offering their services and/or products to explore the replication and scale-up of selected technologies (see below) and promising business models as part of the SESA project.

SESA Replication & Scale-up Call

The SESA Replication and Scale-up Call is built on the experience gained in the demonstration actions and aims to select suitable enterprises who are willing to explore the replication and scale-up of selected technologies and business models developed and tested within the SESA project. In below table, you can find the prioritised technology domains as well as the focus regions (where applicable) per country. Focus countries for this call are Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda and Tanzania.

The SESA project will make available between EUR 50,000 to EUR 100,000 per selected enterprise for the design, implementation, and evaluation of submitted replication projects via service agreements. Entities are welcome to form consortiums to apply for the call. However, if selected, the service agreement will be signed with the lead partner only.

Interested enterprises should be operationally active in the selected countries and should submit project proposals outlining how they plan to boost the replication and scale-up of below technologies. Feasibility assessments exploring the replication potential of sustainable energy solutions in very remote communities such as in the case of Namibia are also eligible.