Nine African nations have been chosen to receive new funding and operational support from the Climate Investment Fund’s (CIF) Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Program (SREP).

Benin, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia were selected at the CIF’s most recent governing body meetings held in Jamaica. This increases the number of African countries piloting CIF climate-smart investment plans to 25, representing nearly half of all countries on the continent.

The African Development Bank (AfDB), one of the CIF’s five implementing agencies, worked with the countries to garner the support and will serve as implementing agency for the countries as they develop their new CIF investment plans.

“This move sends an impressive signal for change,” stated SREP co-chair Erastus Wahome, representative for Kenya – the first country to operationalise a CIF transformational geothermal program in Africa. “The additional donor support for energy transformation is a clear sign of confidence in the success we’ve already seen taking place in low-income countries in Africa and other regions, and a sign of developing countries’ continuing enthusiasm to commit to CIF-style transformation. I am proud that Kenya has helped lead the way for this transformation.”

An independent expert group selected the countries from a group of 40 who has expressed interest in joining the SREP. Some of the criteria used to select the countries included low energy access rates, existence of an enabling policy and regulatory environment, renewable-friendly energy development strategies, strong governance capacity, and capacity for implementation.

The SREP sub-committee agreed to provide up to $300 000 for each country to undertake development of an SREP investment plan.