GET.invest Burundi shows European funding in action

Team Europe is responsible for establishing what may be the most consistent and successful scheme for supporting private sector sustainable energy projects in Africa. GET.Invest has linked more than 110 projects and companies
with financiers with a projected total investment of EUR 1.5 billion, the majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

In early 2022 and as part of the AEGEI, it mandated the European programme GET.invest with the Team Europe One Stop Shop for Green Energy Investments, a single access point for infor­mation about European sup­port and financing instruments for energy projects and facili­tated access to this support.

Since 2016, GET.invest, with support from the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria, has been mobilising investments in renewable energy, support­ing more than 250+ projects and companies in accessing financing on the continent and beyond.

Most recently, it has been making an impact in Burundi, the poorest African country with the lowest rate of energy access. Despite the challeng­ing environment for private sector developers in the country, the initial scoping identified four renewable energy companies that could benefit from advice and funding. “We know these are companies that we can really support. They are good, strong companies, three of which are led by Burundians.” said Alexandra Niez, co-ordinator of GET.invest activities in the country.

They include mini-grid IPP developer and local EPC contractor, KLK, which had been working with the local electricity company, Régie de Production et de Distribution d’Eau et d’Elec­tricité (Regideso) for 10 years as an autho­rised supplier for providing connections to the national grid. “If someone needs an extension to where the grid does not reach, they can get authorisation from the national utility and we build distribution lines, or very rarely transmis­sion lines,” founder and chief operating officer, Santillana Kamikazi, explained. Kamikazi and her partner have since turned the company into a developer of solar PV mini-grids.

GET.invest’s support was a timely opportu­nity for the next step. “GET.invest’s advisors helped us work out financial models and a pitch deck and provided us with counselling,” said Kamikazi. “When talking to them, we real­ised there is a huge gap in terms of providing energy to C&I customers.”

This has enabled KLK to design a commercial offering which fits the conditions in one of the poorest countries in Africa. “Here in Burundi, there is not much purchasing power. We need­ed some kind of leasing so that customers can afford the solution,” she added. As KLK was unable to finance its plan from internal resources, GET.invest also assisted Kamikazi in identifying potential international backers.