KawiSafi Ventures Fund

KawiSafi Ventures Fund

  • Status Under implementation
  • Date approved 05 Nov 2015 at B.11
  • Est. completion 16 Aug 2028
  • ESS Category Intermediation 3

Creating a new investment fund, KawiSafi, to drive off-grid solar power in East Africa. Investing in 10-15 clean energy companies, initially in Rwanda and Kenya, providing household solar technologies. Aiming to drive a low-carbon paradigm shift and leapfrog fossil fuel grids to clean energy, using equity capital from GCF to leverage investment, and grant capital to set up a Technical Assistance Facility.

Rwanda has 70% of its population living off-grid, and even a planned massive investment from the government will leave over 3.5 million without power. Energy costs are high, both for on- and off-grid customers, because of a heavy reliance on imported oil and kerosene. In Kenya, 80% live off-grid with 35 million without access to affordable and reliable electricity. Lighting costs in particular are very high for rural off-grid Kenyans, who spend around 26% of their income on kerosene, which is expensive, dangerous, and harmful to health. Rapid population growth is increasing demand for electricity and placing further demands on grid supply. The Fund will consider expansion to Uganda over time, which has even lower electrification levels and heavy reliance on fuel wood for cooking.

The KawiSafi portfolio will be the world’s first climate change fund targeting low-income populations in developing countries. Investments of USD 2-10 million per company will be made in 10-15 clean energy small- and medium-sized enterprises. Lack of electricity and high kerosene use will be addressed through affordable clean household solar energy solutions such as solar lanterns, solar home systems, and solar mini-grids. KawiSafi will also invest in other parts of the ecosystem such as consumer finance, mobile payment, and metering/monitoring technologies. The Technical Assistance Facility will identify and address core needs of portfolio companies to support their scale and financial viability.

The project has an estimated lifespan of 12 years.

Total project value


Tonnes of emissions avoided






Result areas

Project timeline


23 Apr 2015 - 197 days

Concept note received

23 Apr 2015

Funding proposal received

21 Jul 2015


05 Nov 2015 - 286 days

Approved by GCF Board

05 Nov 2015

Cleared by iTAP

05 Nov 2015

Legal opinion on AE's Internal Approval

02 Mar 2016

FAA executed

03 Aug 2016

Under implementation

16 Aug 2016 - 2,866 days so far

FAA effective

16 Aug 2016

Disbursement - USD 5,353,584

07 Sep 2016

Disbursement - USD 140,329

19 Dec 2016

Disbursement - USD 466,544

03 Apr 2017

Disbursement - USD 466,544

21 Jun 2017

Disbursement - USD 1,563,816

22 Sep 2017

Disbursement - USD 154,778

05 Dec 2017

Annual Performance Report

30 Apr 2018

Annual Performance Report

30 Apr 2019

Disbursement - USD 154,187

08 Jul 2019

Disbursement - USD 448,484

18 Oct 2019

Disbursement - USD 2,280,781

07 Feb 2020

Disbursement - USD 1,648,547

20 May 2020

Disbursement - USD 700,000

12 Jun 2020

Disbursement - USD 143,816

31 Jul 2020

Disbursement - USD 131,258

26 Nov 2020

Disbursement - USD 136,830

01 Mar 2021

Disbursement - USD 606,181

29 Jun 2021

Disbursement - USD 141,308

15 Oct 2021

Disbursement - USD 1,962,839

15 Oct 2021

Disbursement - USD 710,714

15 Dec 2021

Disbursement - USD 574,513

20 Dec 2021

Disbursement - USD 846,429

23 Sep 2022

Disbursement - USD 1,140,007

30 Nov 2022

Disbursement - USD 914,286

07 Sep 2023

Disbursement - USD 444,708

11 Dec 2023

Disbursement - USD 830,122

09 Apr 2024

To be completed

16 Aug 2028 - 1,519 days to go

One region

  • Africa

Two countries

Two priority groups

  • Least Developed Countries
  • African States
  • Financing
    • Private sector
    • Public sector
  • Size
    • Micro
    • Small
    • Medium
    • Large

GCF financing88% disbursed

EquityUSD 20,000,000
GrantUSD 5,000,000
Total GCF Financing
USD 25,000,000


Co-FinancingEquityUSD 75,000,000
Co-FinancingGrantUSD 5,000,000
Co-FinancingEquityUSD 5,000,000
Total Co-Financing
USD 85,000,000

GCF Contacts

General media inquiries

GCF Communications
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Request for information

GCF Information Disclosure
Request information about this project

Project complaints and grievances

GCF Independent Redress Mechanism (IRM)
Phone +82 32 458 6186 (KST)
File a complaint

Integrity issues

GCF Independent Integrity Unity (IIU)
Phone +82 32 458 6714 (KST)
Send e-mail

Accredited Entity

Acumen Fund, Inc.
Ms. Lynn Roland

General Counsel
Phone +1 (212) 566-8821
Mr. Samuel Jewett

ESG Insights Manager
40 Worth Street, Suite 303, New York, United States
Phone +1(612)505-8006
More contacts

National Designated Authority

The National Treasury
Dr Chris Kiptoo Primary
Principal Secretary
Treasury Building 12th Floor, Harambee Avenue, Nairobi, Kenya
Phone +254 20 224 0051
Mr. Malik Aman Secondary
Programme Manager, National Coordination (FLLoCA)
Phone +254 720 771774
Mr. Peter Odhengo Secondary
Senior Policy Advisor, Climate Finance
Phone +254 722 984 992
Mr. Hillary Korir Secondary
Senior Economist
Phone +254 722 644736
Rwanda Environment Management Authority
Mrs. Juliet Kabera Primary
Director General


News + Stories

Creating clean energy from waste

05 Apr 2024 / How do you create value from waste? Sistema.bio, a biodigester company supported by GCF's investment in the KawiSafi Ventures Fund, is helping farmers convert farm waste into clean energy.  Learn more about the project: https://g.cf/fp005

Working with farmers to grow greener farms

05 Apr 2024 /   In Kenya, farmers like Beth Nyokabi are increasing their farm productivity and income while mitigating emissions — both on the field and at home — thanks to a green solution supported by GCF and Acumen.

Reflections on climate action: How do climate investments impact people's lives?

05 Apr 2024 / "Stories are incredible...and this is why it's important to come...and witness the impact that these investments have on their lives...so that we can show the world why we need to scale these investments." — GCF Executive Director Mafalda Duarte, during her visit to GCF #climateaction projects in Kenya and Rwanda In September 2023, GCF ED Duarte visited Africa and saw first-hand the impacts of GCF-financed projects on rural communities.

GCF and KawiSafi Ventures Fund driving off-grid solar power in East Africa

05 Dec 2023 / Although the African continent is responsible for only three per cent of the world's human-induced greenhouse gas emissions each year, it is expected to suffer some of the most severe consequences of climate change. Significant investments in Africa's infrastructure, manufacturing capacity, and economy are necessary to helpthe continent's  adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change.

The growing urgency of funding off-grid solar: Exploring the multi-billion dollar investment opportunity in achieving climate and energy access goals

02 Feb 2022 /

Investment in off-grid solar lights up lives in Rwanda

01 Oct 2019 / In Rwanda about 70% of the population are not connected to the electricity grid. In partnership with Acumen in the KawiSafi Ventures Fund, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is helping address this by unlocking private sector investment in off-grid renewables as a faster, cheaper, and cleaner way to bring power to Rwandan communities.

Bringing renewable energy to rural communities in Rwanda

31 Aug 2019 / The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is enabling investment to bridge East Africa's energy gap with affordable, off-grid renewables.

Giving power to the people, minus the emissions

22 Aug 2019 /