Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) has availed a US$1,2 million Innovation Fund to unlock the potential of renewable energy to create new business opportunities in seven countries including Zimbabwe.
Other countries include Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, and Mozambique.
In a statement, the AECF, chief executive officer Ms Victoria Sabula said the fund is aimed at strengthening market readiness of emerging innovations, as well as secure financial, technical, and networking support for taking existing proven prototypes to scale.
“The Innovation Fund is key to enhancing large-scale transformation within local communities. Investing in affordable and accessible renewable energy solutions can create jobs, grow economies, and build more sustainable livelihoods.
“Through the fund, we hope to unearth new ways that renewable technology – be it domestic, communal, or commercial – can be used to generate income and create jobs,” she said.
Ms Sabula said the Innovation Fund builds on AECF’s Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies (REACT) initiative, which was launched to support the private sector develop and expand its clean energy technologies to Africa’s rural communities.
The Fund, she added will invest in technologies that meet market needs as well as accelerating the development of existing solutions to better serve African communities and not technologies in the prototype stage.