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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in support of the US Government-led Power Africa initiative, has launched the Solar Home System Kick-Starter Program for Malawi to expand energy access in the country via solar home systems (SHS). Starting in early 2019, the programme will offer three pillars of support to successful program applicants: Results-based grant finance, operational support and access to working capital financiers. 

“We estimate that the program will allow 100 000 to 150 000 households with access to power, bringing in up to $22.5 million of foreign direct investment into Malawi,” says United States Mission Director Littleton Tazewell. A wide range of partners are supporting the programme, including local financiers (FDH Bank, Kuwa Capital, National Bank of Malawi and Standard Bank), international financiers (Lion’s Head Global Partners and SunFunder) and awareness-raising institutions (SolarAid).

Power Africa will commit $5 million in support to the programme, with $1.5 million going towards results-based grants for SHS companies. Interested SHS companies can access the RFA by registering at https://usaid-saep.fluxx.io.

The USAID Southern Africa Energy Program is a five-year, 11 country programme funded by USAID in support of Power Africa initiative. To date, Power Africa’s more than 150 private and public-sector partners have committed more than $56 billion to mobilise and organise international efforts to electrify Africa.

Image credit: https://www.usaid.gov/where-we-work/africa

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