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Acumen and GCF sign agreement to implement its first approved project proposal, bringing household solar energy to East Africa

New York,
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Acumen Fund today signed a Funded Activity Agreement (FAA) enabling the disbursement of funds to implement the first approved project proposal from Acumen (a private sector accredited entity), making it the first GCF project to move to this stage. The signing of the FAA will allow Acumen to receive GCF financial resources to invest in companies along the off-grid energy value chain to drive access to off-grid solar power in East Africa for low income consumers. The project proposes to provide solar technologies to rural, off-grid communities initially in Rwanda and Kenya, with possible expansion to Uganda at a later stage, not only meeting the objectives of the UNFCCC but also serving SE4ALL (Sustainable Energy For All) objectives under the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The GCF Board agreed to provide USD 25 million of the Fund’s resources to this program as part of its initial investment decisions, taken at the end of 2015.   

The agreement was signed in New York by Héla Cheikhrouhou, GCF Executive Director, and Acumen Fund Chief Investment Officer, Sachin Rudra.

‘This agreement is another landmark in the rapid development of the Green Climate Fund’, commented Héla Cheikhrouhou, GCF Executive Director. ‘We are delighted that Acumen Fund’s project proposal is the first GCF project to move to disbursement, and we look forward to working with Acumen Fund to bring off-grid solar energy to communities in East Africa.’

 ‘Acumen Fund is proud to be collaborating with GCF in this innovative project’, stated Sachin Rudra, Acumen Chief Investment Officer. ‘The project will drive a shift to clean energy, bringing off-grid solar power to low-income rural households.  At scale, it is estimated to benefit over 15 million people in East Africa, and save 1.5 million metric tonnes of CO2 emission by displacing the use of kerosene and diesel.’

Acumen Fund, Inc. is a non-profit global venture fund for the poor. Its mission is to change the way the world tackles poverty by investing in businesses, leaders and ideas.  Since its founding in 2001, Acumen Fund has invested $101 million, sourced from philanthropic and managed investment capital, to build nearly 100 innovative enterprises addressing the problems of poverty in Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Acumen Fund is an accredited entity to GCF.

The Green Climate Fund was established by the 194 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and given the mandate to fund climate action to limit greenhouse gas emissions and support climate-resilient development. The Fund has received pledges of over USD 10 billion equivalent, and has so far committed more than USD 420 million. The GCF Board has an aspirational target to approve USD 2.5 billion of investments by the end of 2016.