USAID/Power Africa Announces $2.6 Million in Healthcare Electrification Grants

KYA-Energy Group’s automated solar handwashing stations, with non-touch taps and soap dispensers. Photo credit: KYA-Energy Group.

LUSAKAPower Africa, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announces grants totaling $2,620,650 (K52,413,000) to solar energy companies to provide reliable, affordable off-grid electricity to nearly 300 healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nearly 60 percent of all healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity, and of those that do, only 34 percent of hospitals and 28 percent of health clinics have reliable, 24-hour access.  Energy is critical for powering essential devices, medical and sterilization equipment, diagnostics, cold storage for vaccines and medication, information technology, and lights to enable the delivery of continuous health care services.  Efficient health services and responses to diseases—including COVID-19—depend on reliable access to electricity.

In support of the accelerated provision of off-grid solar energy to healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa, Power Africa is awarding grants to Muhanya Solar Ltd of Zambia, Havenhill Synergy Ltd. of Nigeria, KYA-Energy Group of Togo, Nanoé of Madagascar, OffGridBox of Rwanda, OnePower of Lesotho, PEG Solar of Ghana, SolarWorks! of Mozambique, and Zuwa Energy of Malawi.

These companies will utilize Power Africa funding to provide off-grid solar electricity solutions to 288 healthcare facilities across the nine countries represented.

In Zambia, Muhanya Solar Ltd will partner with the Churches Health Association of Zambia to provide electricity access to seven rural health facilities in Zambia.  Muhanya will also electrify staff housing to generate revenue for the operation and maintenance of the solar systems installed at the health facilities.

In the rest of the awardee countries, the Power Africa grant will support a variety of projects, including electrification of rural health facilities and housing, as well as provide clean and renewable energy to aid provision of clean water.

“Solar energy holds great potential to expand and improve health care delivery in sub-Saharan Africa, and off-grid solar technology offers a clean, affordable, and smart solution to electrify healthcare facilities located beyond the reach of national electricity grids,” said Mark Carrato, Power Africa Acting Coordinator. “Power Africa’s experience shows that off-grid solar energy systems can be rapidly deployed to even the most rural facilities.”

“These awards demonstrate what we can accomplish when the public and private sectors join together to break down the barriers to reliable electricity for rural healthcare facilities,” said Chris Milligan, Counselor to USAID, on September 22, 2020 during a virtual event announcing the grant awardees.

“Through these grants, USAID is investing in a set of pilot projects that demonstrate how healthcare electrification can be delivered in a commercially sustainable manner, with strong private sector involvement,” said David Stonehill, the Lead for Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid initiative.  “These grants demonstrate the Power Africa model in action:  We use a modest amount of public funding to de-risk transactions, thus opening the door for private investment.”

Power Africa is a U.S. government-led partnership that brings together the collective resources of over 170 public and private sector partners to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa’s goal is to add more than 30,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity and 60 million new home and business connections by 2030.  For more information, visit www.usaid.gov/powerafrica.

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