TDB & AFD Hosted Boardroom: Driving Green Infrastructure Financing in Africa

TDB & AFD Hosted Boardroom: Driving Green Infrastructure Financing in Africa image
While the financing of green infrastructure projects on the continent has its challenges, there are collaborations and developments being seen on this front.
One such sign of progress this year saw the French Development Agency (AFD) provide the Trade and Development Bank (TDB) with a $150 million credit facility.

TDB will use this facility to support the financing of green infrastructure projects across Africa, exploring a diverse range and pipeline of sources across solar, wind, biomass and hydro; as all as mini- and off-grid activities.

“All of this for the one and primary goal of ensuring that access to electricity is provided to a large population in Africa that still needs to connect to the grid, or off-grid, to get light. Light enables one to learn, to heal, to innovate and to prosper,” explained Eyob Easwaran, Senior Advisor, TDB.

The aforementioned target sectors, and especially off- and mini-grids, are especially poignant in a year where rural communities have been impacted COVID strains. The versatility of renewables lends to numerous opportunities for projects, which Easwaran jokes will need “far more than $150 million”. Progress requires input from outside of the DFI world too, however.

He added: “Negotiations can take so long and developers need to attune themselves to the actual needs on the ground, and come with a viable business plan that can be accepted and that can be easily deployed.

“At times we can get frustrated by the complexity and the time it takes to close deals, but things are getting better and we see a lot of deals close which is encouraging. The partnership needs to be there to enable results to happen.”