Gridworks Development Partners LLP

Africa Infrastructure

Gridworks is a development and investment platform principally targeting equity investments in transmission, distribution and off-grid electricity in Africa. It aims to improve the quality and availability of power in Africa to improve quality of life, create economic opportunities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The company was launched by CDC in 2019.

Our investment

CDC's investment is to fund pipeline and portfolio management.

Impact
  • Economic opportunities created through the firm growth (SDG 8.5).
  • Improve standards of living for end consumers through the provision of more and better-quality clean energy (SDG 7.1, 7.2).
  • Improve environmental sustainability and contribute to climate action by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (SDG 13A).
Primary Secondary
  • Direct: Avoid/reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the displacement of thermal power.
  • Economic enabler: Deliver new power capacity, increasing the supply of reliable electricity to firms and households, thereby increasing productivity, and so leading to economic growth and job creation and improving quality of life for end consumers.

Catalytic: Demonstrating a viability of electricity transmission and distribution in Africa to commercial investors. If successful, the platform will pave the way for more investment in transmission and distribution and demonstrate a model for other commercial investors to follow.

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Employees

Pan-Africa

Unknown

Consumers

Pan-Africa

Urban/peri-urban households

Planet

Global

N/A

Scale Depth/Duration

The platform is at an early stage of development.

  • Employees: The impact on economic opportunities is expected to be deeper in countries where there are higher poverty and unemployment levels.
  • Consumers: Consumers suffering from unreliable grid access and high levels of poverty will benefit from quality of life improvements, but these are expected to be greater for households that consume the most electricity and use appliances.
Grid Score Contribution

-

Grid score is determined at the individual project level.

To help us direct our investments, we use a tool called the Development Impact Grid. The Grid scores every investment we plan out of a score of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in the country and whether investment in that sector will lead to jobs.

Financial: Long term equity development finance institution capital is required for transmission and distribution development in Africa.

Risk

Execution: There is a risk the platform will not have the demonstration effect sought, further private sector investment will not be deployed in transmission and distribution and the model will not be replicable. This risk will need to be tolerated given the importance of the demonstration effect to the impact case.

Environmental and social aspects

CDC is 100 per cent shareholder and we have embeded environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles into the company from the outset. In particular, health and safety is a core part of the approach when assessing opporutunities and working with portfolio companys.

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

:
Africa
Sector

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

:
Infrastructure
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

:
Direct Equity
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

:
June 2019
Amount

For direct investments, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the fund.

:
$48.6m
Domicile

This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

:
United Kingdom

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