Africa Renewable Energy Fund

Africa Infrastructure

The Africa Renewable Energy Fund (AREF) invests in small hydro, wind, geothermal, stranded gas, and solar projects across sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa.

AREF, which is managed by Berkeley Energy, is one of the first pan-African private equity funds focused on developing renewable energy infrastructure.

Our investment

In 2014, CDC invested $20 million into AREF to provide long-term capital for greenfield renewable energy infrastructure projects. AREF aims to make investments between $10 million to $30 million into 10-50 megawatt (MW) power projects.

Expected impact

In sub-Saharan Africa two thirds of the population remain without access to electricity. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), average electricity consumption per person in the region is too low to keep a single 50-watt light bulb continuously lit.

Expanding electricity access is critical to reduce poverty and boost economic growth. This requires a major increase in power supply to the region and renewable energy has a vital role to play. Yet despite significant resources, sub-Saharan Africa continues to trail the rest of the world in obtaining funds for renewable energy projects.

Our investment will support the development of a series of projects that will generate up to 200-250 MW capacity across the continent. These include a geothermal project in Ethiopia, hydro projects in Uganda, Tanzania and Cameroon, solar and biomass in Ghana.

Environmental and social aspects

We work closely with the fund manager to help develop and implement an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) that has the capacity to manage the higher level of environmental and social risk associated with this sector. This includes regular site visits to investee companies.

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
Countries

For funds, the countries listed here are those the fund has invested in so far.

:
Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda
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. For funds, the sectors listed here are those the fund has invested in so far.

:
Infrastructure
Investment type

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

:
Intermediated investment
Fund manager:
Berkeley Energy
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

:
October 2014
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.

:
$20m
Domicile

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

:
Mauritius

Investments made by this fund

  • Active
  • Exited
Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Corbetti Geothermal

Corbetti Geothermal is a geothermal energy development, construction and operation project in Ethiopia with a target capacity of 20 megawatts.

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Ethiopia Africa, East Africa Infrastructure June 2014 Active
ARPE Limited

ARPE is a project company which is developing, constructing and operating a series of hydro power projects in Gulu, Northern Uganda.

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Uganda Africa, East Africa Infrastructure October 2014 Active
Achwa HPP3/4/5

Achwa HPP3,4,5 is a portfolio of three hydro plants in the early development stage in Northern Uganda.

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Uganda Africa, East Africa Infrastructure September 2015 Active
Bugoye Hydro Limited

Bugoye is a 13 megawatt operational hydro plant in Western Uganda developed and operated by Tronder Power, with Norfund as a minority shareholder.

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Uganda Africa, East Africa Infrastructure September 2015 Active
Cameroon Hydro Cameroon Africa, West Africa Infrastructure August 2016 Active
Kikagati

Kikagati is a 16MW greenfield project in South Western Uganda; it is a landmark private cross border hydro project that has improved collaboration between Uganda and Tanzania. The project will supply and boost electrification in an under-served part of Tanzania and help meet projected supply shortfal in Uganda.

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Uganda Africa, East Africa Infrastructure September 2016 Active
APSD

This 60MW biomass project in central Ghana comprises a 21,500 hectare eucalyptus plantation, of which approximately 9,000 hectares have been established for fuel supply.

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Ghana Africa, West Africa Infrastructure October 2016 Active
Maji Power Ltd

Maji Power is an operational and development company established to provide construction and operational support in Ugandan hydro projects.

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Uganda Africa, East Africa Infrastructure December 2016 Active
Azimuth

Commercial and industrial solar player

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Ghana Africa, West Africa Infrastructure June 2017 Active
BE Ghana Ghana Africa, West Africa Infrastructure March 2018 Active
Mahitsy Madagascar Africa, Indian Ocean Infrastructure December 2018 Active