Good news for Easy Solar. The company based in Freetown, the Sierra Leonean capital, obtains a credit line of 5 million dollars. The guarantee of funds in local currency (Leone) is provided by the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (OGEF EIF) of the Energy Inclusion Facility.
This loan fund primarily provides secured financing to support the growth of innovative off-grid energy companies. Managed by Lion’s Head Global Partners (LHGP), the fund is part of the Facility for Energy Inclusion (EIF), a debt financing facility for small-scale electricity access projects capitalized by the African Bank (AfDB) and other development finance institutions and commercial enterprises. investors.
Funding in local currency
According to Alix Graham, fund manager for FEI-OGEF at Lion’s Head, local currency financing will allow the company to better manage currency risk and ultimately deliver affordable products at scale to achieve more. of off-grid households in Sierra Leone. The transaction was supported by the US government’s Power Africa initiative, which provided legal support and technical advice to Easy Solar through a team from international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.
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With the OGEF FEI credit line, Easy Solar wants to focus on expanding the financing of its core solar product line. The company distributes solar home systems, solar lanterns, power generation devices, and consumer electronics such as televisions, fans, and even freezers.
Support the electrification of Sierra Leone
“Access to affordable debt financing in local currency has been one of the biggest barriers to accelerating our expansion in our core markets and beyond. The partnership with FEI-OGEF will allow us to strengthen and simplify our balance sheet while bringing access to energy to hundreds of thousands of people in Sierra Leone,” said Alexandre Tourre, co-founder and CEO of Easy Solar.
This line of credit supports the efforts already made by the company founded in 2016. In 2020, the company, which claims 300 employees, mobilized $5 million to electrify 450,000 people in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The funds were raised from Acumen, Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) and investment platform Trine.
These efforts are helping to increase the level of electricity access in Sierra Leone. In this West African country, 77% of the population still does not have access to electricity according to the World Bank’s 2019 report.