Smart Communities Coalition Innovation Fund

The Smart Communities Coalition Innovation Fund (SCCIF) aims to bring private sector-led innovative solutions to displaced populations and crisis-affected host communities to develop service delivery, economically empower displaced populations and contribute to economic and social integration. The fund is designed to address three strategic pillars to trigger a paradigm shift in humanitarian settings – energy, connectivity, and digital tools.

Congratulations to the second set of SCCIF winners!

People standing in front of a Infrastructure for Sustainable Development (i4SD) kiosk.
The goal of i4SD is to connect communities that are currently unconnected. Photo Credit: GIZ/Xcyte Media Ltd

The Smart Communities Coalition Innovation Fund (SCCIF) awarded three grants to companies that will use renewable energy technologies to increase access to electricity in refugee-hosting areas of Uganda. The winners are: 

  • Akvo International (U) Limited will set-up a digitalised solar-powered water purification and distribution system with the aid of smart taps bridging the gap of universal access of safe drinking water in Imvepi settlement in Uganda.
  • Fenix International Uganda Limited and ENGIE Energy Access will leverage their advancement in the Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) business model through enabling education loans over their PAYG enabled systems within Adjumani, Rwamwanga and Kiryandongo refugee settlements in Uganda.
  • Infrastructure for Sustainable Development (i4SD) will scale-up and upgrade their Rubondo Youth (energy and digital hub) /centre located within Nakivale refugee settlement (Uganda) by increasing their off-grid solar and battery storage capacity to run the first of a kind known off-grid e-mobility pilot within a displacement setting in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Congratulations to the first set of SCCIF winners!

E-Bikes advance mobility in displacement settings in Kenya Solar E-Cycles Kenya Limited

The Smart Communities Coalition Innovation Fund (SCCIF) awarded three grants to companies that will use renewable energy technologies to increase access to electricity in refugee-hosting areas of Kenya and Uganda.

The three awardees, chosen from more than 70 project ideas submitted through SCCIF’s first financing window – a competitive call for proposals focused on energy — will implement activities that will benefit nearly 3,000 displaced and host community households:

  • Moban Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCO), BiziSol and OffGridBox will establish a solar-powered solution providing clean and affordable energy, drinking water and connectivity, in the Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda;
  • PHB Development, Yelekeni Farmers’ SACCO, BrightLife and UltraTec will develop a solar-powered hatchery and individual solar home systems for small-scale poultry farming in Kiryandongo, Uganda; and
  • Solar E-Cycles, Strathmore University and OFGEN will launch an e-mobility solution in the Kakuma-Kalobeyei area in Kenya using solar-powered electric bicycles.

Implemented by EnDev with Power Africa support, SCCIF is a financing mechanism of the Smart Communities Coalition, a network of more than 60 public and private sector organizations co-chaired by Mastercard and USAID that seeks to improve delivery of essential services to forcibly displaced individuals and host community members through energy, connectivity and digital tools. Worldwide, only 10 percent of households in refugee-hosting areas have access to electricity.

More houses in refugee-hosting areas are powered with renewable energy – like this one in Uganda. BrightLife

“Power Africa aligns its public and private sector resources to drive investment in some of sub-Saharan Africa’s most underserved energy markets,” said Mark Carrato, Power Africa Coordinator. “Our investment in the inaugural window of the SCC Innovation Fund captures the intent of the Power Africa partnership – together, we change lives. I congratulate each of the winners and applaud your work to bring life-changing electricity to these vulnerable communities in a commercially sustainable manner.”

“Globally, the number of displaced people continues to increase, with the majority of the world’s nearly 80 million forcibly displaced people currently hosted in low- and middle-income countries which already struggle to provide services to their populations. Private sector solutions will increasingly be necessary,” said Daniel Busche, EnDev Programme Manager. “The SCC Innovation Fund is designed to de-risk private investments in displacement settings, and for this reason, we are proud to collaborate with the Smart Communities Coalition.”

Learn more about what each of the grantees will do

EnDev is funded by:

German Cooperation logo Netherlands Enterprise Agency logo Norad logo   DEZA logo 

Implemented by:

GIZ logo Netherlands Enterprise Agency logo