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Easy Solar, a Sierra Leone-based PAYGo solar solution provider, has obtained a $5 million credit facility in local currency from the Energy Inclusion Facility’s Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (EIF-OGEF). The financing facility will allow Easy Solar to continue electrification in rural regions via solar-powered home systems.
The EIF-OGEF is a co-sponsored initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Nordic Development Fund (NDF), and other commercial investors, with an objective to support the growth of energy access companies across Sub-Saharan Africa and develop their capacity to sustainably access capital at scale.
The fund is a part of the Energy Inclusion Facility (EIF) and is managed by Lion’s Head Global Partners (LHGP). According to Alix Graham, the Fund Manager for FEI-OGEF at Lion’s Head, the funding in local currency will allow the company to easily manage the foreign exchange risk and provide affordable products at scale, reaching more off-grid communities in Sierra Leone.
With the help of EIF-OGEF’s line of credit, Easy Solar will expand financing for its core solar product line. The transaction was supported by the USAID’s Power Africa initiative, which provided Easy Solar with legal support and technical advice, through an expert team from the international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.
Alexandre Tourre, Co-Founder and CEO of Easy Solar, “Access to affordable local currency debt financing has been one of the main constraints to accelerating our expansion in our core markets and beyond. Partnering with EIF-OGEF will allow us to strengthen and simplify our balance sheet while bringing energy access to hundreds of thousands of people in Sierra Leone.”.
In 2020, Easy Solar mobilized $5 million in funding to provide off-grid electricity to 450,000 people in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The funds were raised from Acumen, the Dutch development bank FMO and the investment platform Trine.
Founded in 2016, Easy Solar distributes solar home systems, solar lanterns, productive appliances, and other consumer electronics in Sierra Leone. The efforts of the company are in line with the country’s objective to increase the level of access to electricity. In this West African country, the electrification rate is 26% in the urban communities and 6% in the rural areas, which is ranked among those with the lowest electricity access rates globally.