Solar power: Energise Africa launches new bond offer

Written by Lori Campbell on 9th Mar 2021

Impact investment platform Energise Africa has launched a new bond offer to finance solar power for low-income families in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The three-year bond has a minimum investment of £50 and targets returns of 7.5 per cent.

Every £250 invested will enable solar power company Altech Solar to provide a life-changing solar home system to a family that was previously off-grid in the DRC.

The investment comes with a guarantee, which covers the first £100 of capital invested by first-time investors.

Lisa Ashford, CEO of Energise Africa, said“We’re delighted to be working with Altech. This is an amazing story of overcoming adversity as both of Altech’s founders grew up in a refugee camp in Tanzania and know first hand how a lack of energy access limits lives.

“It’s great to see how Energise Africa can connect people who want to invest their money for good with extraordinary companies like Altech who are seeking to make a real difference in the DRC where more than 30 per cent of the population still do not have access to clean and affordable energy.” 

Find out more about this bond offer, and how innovative solar projects are operating across Africa, in an webinar with Energise Africa and Ethex on Tuesday 16th March 12 – 1pm.

Energise Africa enables ordinary people to invest in bonds issued by solar firms, allowing them to provide pay-as-you-go solar power systems to low-income families in countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, the DRC and Tanzania.

An estimated 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live without access to electricity. Many use traditional energy sources such as kerosene lamps, candles and batteries but these can be dangerous as well as costly. Having a solar system can allow children to read and study in the evening, and enable a person to install a fridge so they can sell cold drinks.

Launched in 2017, Energise Africa is the result of a link-up between ethical investment platform Ethex, a Good With Money ‘Good Egg’, and crowdfunding platform Lendahand.

The new bond is eligible to be held in an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA), meaning any returns on the investment are tax-free*.

To date, Energise Africa has provided £20 million in vital finance from almost 4,000 investors to enable more than 500,000 people across sub-Saharan Africa to access clean energy, reducing carbon emissions by 110,000 tonnes a year. So far, Energise Africa has repaid more than £8 million to investors.  

The bond, the first issued on the platform by DRC-based Altech, aims to raise £750,000. Founded in 2013 to address the enormous energy access challenges faced by people in the DRC, Altech has established itself as a leading provider of solar power solutions to off-grid communities there. It has supplied around 200,000 solar products, positively impacting the lives of over one million people across the country.

The funds will be used to deploy and install 3,000 of their Solar Home and TV systems impacting the lives of approximately 15,000 people. The solar home systems consist of solar panels, a 24” TV, lights, bulbs, a fan, hair clipper and radio.

Please note that investing in the offers available on the Energise Africa platform puts your capital at risk and returns are not guaranteed, and investments are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Read the full risk warning on before deciding to invest. 

* Tax treatment is dependent on individual circumstance and is subject to change.

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