Tanzania: USAID Awards U.S.$5 Million to Tanzania’s Off Grid Electric

All Africa
December 17, 2015

The U.S. Agency for Inter­na­tional Development’s U.S. Global Devel­op­ment Lab today announced $5 mil­lion in follow-​​on fund­ing to Off Grid Elec­tric. The award, funded through the Devel­op­ment Inno­va­tion Ven­tures (DIV) pro­gram, will allow Off Grid Elec­tric to test its model at scale and cat­alyze addi­tional invest­ments to reach more than one mil­lion households.

In Tan­za­nia, approx­i­mately 40 mil­lion peo­ple lack access to elec­tric­ity. Off Grid Elec­tric cur­rently pro­vides afford­able, reli­able light and energy ser­vices to 10,000 new house­holds per month to fam­i­lies faced with an expen­sive grid, an unre­li­able grid, or no grid access at all. Off Grid Elec­tric bor­rows from the tele­com industry’s busi­ness model: rather than pur­chas­ing costly solar sys­tems, cus­tomers pre-​​pay for elec­tri­cal ser­vices using “mobile money” and are able to access small-​​scale, rad­i­cally effi­cient solar home sys­tems with inte­grated appliances.


Build­ing on its DIV grants, Off Grid Elec­tric received $25 mil­lion in equity from SolarCity and DBL Investors, and an addi­tional $40 mil­lion in debt from the Packard Foun­da­tion, Calvert Foun­da­tion, Cenairth, and other fam­ily offices.

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