U.S. Government supports access to energy and finance through new grants operating in Africa including Senegal

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A Baobab Plus agent putting solar panel on a house
A Baobab Plus agent putting solar panel on a house

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 30, 2022
senegalDOC@usaid.gov ; www.usaid.gov/senegal 
+221 33 879 4000

USAID is pleased to announce a program that provides clean energy and electric transportation solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. . 

In many Sub-Saharan African countries, rural electrification remains a challenge. While Senegal has made impressive progress over the last decade in electrifying communities, the discrepancies in access to electricity between urban and rural areas persist. 80% in urban areas versus 33% in rural areas. 

With $1.5 million support from USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures, Baobab Plus, a social enterprise that provides solar home systems and products, is establishing operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and expanding its nano-loan pilot program in Senegal. In addition to extending access to energy to 18,000 households in the DRC, Baobab Plus will provide access to finance to 8,200 households in Senegal over three years. Senegal is considered a hub for domestic solar system suppliers within West Africa and is a model for the adoption of new business models across the region. 

Baobab Plus is one of the major local companies that led the development of the sector, using sales by “Pay As You Go” (PAYGo).  Partnerships with microfinance institutions have been a significant part of the Senegalese market for several years, and their importance continues to grow. Baobab Plus is the first example of a partnership between a domestic solar system provider and a microfinance institution in Senegal.

Since 2015, Baobab Plus has served 1.3 million people in four countries in Africa with solar home systems and products.

About USAID: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) promotes and demonstrates American values of democracy and its vision of a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. Together with our Senegalese partners, USAID/Senegal provides assistance that saves lives, expands economic growth and education opportunities, strengthens governance and civil society, and supports Senegal’s national development plan, the Plan Sénégal Emergent.

About the Development Innovation Ventures (DIV): Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) is USAID’s open innovation program that funds breakthrough solutions to the world's most intractable development challenges. By funding innovation and focusing on rigorous evidence, DIV impacts millions of lives at a fraction of the usual cost. Since 2010, DIV has awarded approximately $172 million through 252 grants across 47 countries and reached more than 99 million people. 

About Baobab Plus: Baobab Plus is a social business founded in 2015 that provides access to energy and digital solutions. The company commercializes innovative products with financing solutions that meet the needs of local populations. It operates in Senegal, Mali, Madagascar and Côte d’Ivoire where the company offers its services mainly to individuals, micro and small businesses. Baobab Plus is a subsidiary of Baobab Group, a leader in digital financial inclusion.

Last updated: June 23, 2022

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