USAID Launches Solar Home Systems Program in Malawi

Solar Home System Kick-Starter Program for Malawi
United States Mission Director Littleton Tazewell (USAID)

Malawi - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in support of the U.S. Government-led Power Africa initiative, recently launched a solar home systems (SHS) program to expand energy access in Malawi.

The program called “Solar Home System Kick-Starter Program for Malawi” will see Power Africa will commit USD $5 million of support to the program, with USD $1.5 million going towards results-based grants for SHS companies.

Starting in the first quarter of 2019, the program will offer three pillars of support to successful program applicants: results-based grant finance, operational support and access to working capital financiers.

USAID has since opened Requests for Application (RFA) whose closing date is 22 March 2019. Those interested SHS companies can access the RFA by registering via this link https://usaid-saep.fluxx.io.

The SHS Kick-Starter Program aims to catalyse the increased investment and rapid growth in the sector over a three-year period. Through building coalitions within the donor community, the program complements and amplifies World Bank efforts to energise the SHS market in Malawi.

“We estimate that the program will allow 100,000 to 150,000 households with access to power, bringing in up to $22.5 million of foreign direct investment into Malawi” said United States Mission Director Littleton Tazewell.

The “Solar Home System Kick-Starter Program for Malawi” is already enjoying the support of a wide range of partners. These include local financiers (FDH Bank, Kuwa Capital, National Bank of Malawi and Standard Bank), international financiers (Lion’s Head Global Partners and SunFunder) and awareness-raising institutions (SolarAid).

The Malawi SHS program is a spinoff of the USAID Southern Africa Energy Program, a is a five-year, 11 country program funded by USAID in support of the U.S. Government-led Power Africa initiative. To date, Power Africa’s more than 150 private and public-sector partners have committed more than $56 billion to mobilize and organize international efforts to electrify Africa.