• 150 Total investment leveraged (USD million)
  • 38 Total projects which mobilised finance
  • 23.3 Clean energy capacity added (MW)
  • 331 Projects provided PFAN support
  • 26 000 CO2eq reduced per annum (tonnes)
Total projects supported by technology 2016-2023
    Total number of projects supported by country (Western Africa)
    Total number of projects supported by country (Eastern Africa)
    Total number of projects supported by country (Southern Africa)

    Market developments 2016-2023

    Climate finance flows to Africa still fall far short of the continent’s needs, reaching only about 12% of what is necessary.[1] The need for finance in climate-related sectors such as transport, energy, industry, agriculture, forestry, and adaptation continues to be essential as the region responds to the effects of climate change. The difference between finance flows into mitigation and adaptation remains evident, whereby mitigation is supported through private sources of debt and adaptation from public sources. Hence, calls for innovative approaches to climate finance in the region are necessary to make changes. This has been seen through the increasing growth of carbon finance over the past years. However, setbacks with differing standards and credibility call the progression into question.

    Though the last two to three years have seen a decline in the establishment of additional renewable energy capacity (especially in East Africa) and investors’ continued reticence for clean cooking, energy access and solar home systems (especially post-pandemic), a greater focus has transpired on climate adaptation, dominating the discourse throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The economic impact of climate change is driving up investment risks, bankable projects are hard to come by due to a scarcity of development funding and the fragmentation of policy and regulation leads the region to require the support of advisory services.


    PFAN’s activities and highlights

    Drastic changes in domestic political and economic conditions have shown the region’s fluctuating market; nonetheless, if the incentive is there, finance can be mobilised, as seen through the 37 projects raising investment through the help of PFAN in sub-Saharan Africa since 2016. As sub-Saharan Africa builds back after a wave of difficulties, recent geopolitical developments in Eastern Europe and the Middle East show another curve ball cannot be ruled out.

    In the past year, the region’s major economies have been characterised by high inflation, public debt distress and currency devaluation. Ghana, Ethiopia and Zambia have already defaulted on some obligations. Furthermore, increasing adverse climate events increase investment risk in Africa on the one hand and, on the other, push up public debt to finance a response.

    In the region, declining official development assistance, shrinking fiscal and monetary space for governments, shifting attention away from traditional donors and funders, over-indebtedness of domestic public sources and the lack of climate finance data are leading to an increasing need for private sector involvement in the climate and clean energy development sector. Furthermore, the continuously evolving market in the region shows a need to support adaptation projects and help them attract the private sector, as well as respond to individual country needs with a tailored approach. PFAN has reacted to these needs through our locally-based advisors by scoping individual country developments, originating projects in the sector, continuously updating the scope of advisory services through the development of individualised services dependent on project needs in 2020 and creating a deal book in 2022 to bring projects closer to investors.  These achievements underscore PFAN’s commitment to overcoming challenges, driving successful project outcomes and fostering sustainable practices in the climate and clean energy landscape.

    Capacity building and market development activities

    PFAN has not only supported entrepreneurs in the region through business coaching and investment facilitation services but also provided additional support to selected projects through project development workshops and investment fora. A highlight from the sub-Saharan Africa Region is the West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF), which was held four times in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, between 2013-2019 (WAFCEF 1-4) in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB).  Southern and Eastern Africa also saw investor events such as the Sida PFAN Initiative on Clean Energy Financing (SPICEF) taking place in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016 and 2018, as well as the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) that took place in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2018 in cooperation with AfDB.

    In preparation for the investor fora, projects selected to participate received hands-on advice from the PFAN team on presenting their business ideas to investors. These in-person events also helped strengthen the relationship between PFAN Advisors and the projects and businesses we support, fostering cohesion amongst the network. To ensure high service delivery standards and continuous improvement of the networks’ skills, regular capacity-building events with PFAN Advisors and Country Coordinators were also held, with the most recent one in 2023 in Kenya.

    As part of our Gender Mainstreaming activities, PFAN launched a Call for Proposals in West Africa in 2017 targeting women-led businesses in the clean energy market. The targeted call was part of the regional project on ‘Mainstreaming gender for a climate resilient energy system in ECOWAS’ to develop and harness the capacity of the region’s population to adopt and implement a gender-responsive approach to improved energy access, supported by the Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN) through technical assistance. Four of the supported projects through this initiative had the opportunity to present their projects at the PFAN Global Investment Forum that took place in Vienna in May 2018. To date, three of these four projects have successfully mobilised finance.

    Collaboration highlights

    PFAN has had several successful collaborations in the sub-Saharan Africa with a range of partners. Highlights include:

    • AgriPitch competition 2022: PFAN partnered with Private Equity Support (PES), a company led by a PFAN Advisor based in Kenya to support young African entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector. Twenty-five finalists received training to build business skill capacity to bolster their investor readiness, financial management and help them pitch bankable business proposals.
    • Umoja Incubator 2022: In collaboration with Serengeti Energy, the Umoja Incubator paired Serengeti Energy’s early-stage development finance capabilities and experience with PFAN’s expertise in project origination and preparation to provide 13 shortlisted projects from across the continent with the commercial and technical knowledge to help them mobilise investment and positively impact their communities, culminating in a week-long workshop of expert training, networking sessions and capacity building. After pitching to the jury and investors present, a 20 MW solar project from Benin was selected as the winner, going on to receive development support from Serengeti.
    • ADEME (2021 – 2023): PFAN partnered with ADEME (the French Agency for Ecological Transition) to support entrepreneurs who are developing and implementing innovative solutions to improve off-grid energy access in sub-Saharan Africa. The main priorities were to build the capacity of local players to ensure sustainable benefits for local populations and to enable the creation of income-generating activities for agricultural producers and micro-entrepreneurs.
    Wilfred Mworia Regional Coordinator, Sub-Saharan Africa

    Wilfred has 20 years working experience spanning the fields of ICT, media, venture capital and climate finance, with a passion and skill for driving innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa. He currently leads the angel network and partnerships at ViKtoria Ventures, a platform that connects early-stage ventures to investors and mentors in Kenya and beyond. He has facilitated multiple deals and collaborations between startups, angel investors and corporate partners, leveraging his extensive network and domain expertise in ICT and venture capital.

    Wilfred specialises in financing innovation and entrepreneurship and new venture creation and development, especially in difficult or under-served market contexts.

    Wilfred Mworia shares insights into PFAN’s impact in Sub-Saharan Africa



    Regional developments

    In 2023, the region witnessed a diverse landscape in terms of climate and clean energy developments. One prominent trend was a decline in the appetite for additional renewable energy generation in countries facing an oversupply of energy. Concurrently, several nations encountered challenges driven by financial constraints faced by national off-takers, impacting their creditworthiness and the bankability of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), leading to difficulties in meeting individual countries’ power supply needs.[2]

    The economic ramifications of climate change gained heightened recognition, spurred by the discussions at COP28, leading to a renewed emphasis on loss and prevention. However, this has also elevated investment risks, particularly in the infrastructure sector. This is evident throughout several countries on the African continent, which are particularly affected by climate change, such as Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, where cyclones Idai and Kenneth displaced 2.2 million in 2019, leading to a slowdown in GDP growth,[3] which is still impacting the countries till date.

    A notable challenge persists in the form of a low level of mature and bankable project pipelines. Many projects struggle to progress beyond the feasibility stage due to the scarcity of development funding at higher-risk stages. This highlights a critical need for financial support mechanisms to propel projects toward implementation. The diversity and fragmentation of policy, regulation and preparedness levels across countries also present hurdles in achieving a cohesive and streamlined approach to clean energy initiatives.

    PFAN’s achievements

    In the face of challenges, PFAN has showcased remarkable achievements and milestones throughout 2023, underscoring our commitment to advancing climate and clean energy projects and businesses to become investor-ready.

    A significant highlight of PFAN’s accomplishments is the successful rollout of enhanced transaction management support through 16 specialised Transaction Advisors in the region working to expedite investment. Twenty-two projects have benefitted from this service, with notable successes and several financial closures expected in 2024. The implementation of transaction management has not only streamlined project processes, but also introduced a new data room, enhancing the collation of project information for investor consumption, resulting in more specialised support and an increased ability to engage with project developers and entrepreneurs.

    In 2023, PFAN accomplished 8 financial closures across Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. A standout success is SokoFresh, where PFAN’s comprehensive support was pivotal. In addition to the support throughout the PFAN Journey, the project received Tipping Point Technical Assistance (TPTA), a supporting grant which is designed to overcome late-stage development obstacles and help projects and businesses attract investment. Leveraging the TPTA exemplifies the effectiveness of PFAN’s tailored services in overcoming challenges and driving tangible outcomes in the clean energy sector.

    SokoFresh is revolutionising agriculture with off-grid, mobile cold storage units strategically placed at farms, thereby optimising aggregation through connecting farmers with exporters and processors. By reducing food loss during harvest and cutting transport costs, SokoFresh ensures farmers earn up to 50% more while buyers receive higher-quality produce. The smart use of cold stores benefits both ends of the supply chain and promotes sustainability and efficiency in the agricultural sector.[4] This success story underscores PFAN’s holistic approach, demonstrating our ability to navigate the entire project lifecycle and leverage tailored financial mechanisms to drive tangible outcomes in the clean energy sector.

    Success Story


    • Location Kenya
    • Sector and Technology Cold Storage / Adaptation
    Find out more

    ”PFAN has supported us by providing advisors who have helped develop the necessary materials and preparations for SokoFresh to secure debt investment”.

    Denis Karema, CEO, SokoFresh

    Another of the year’s highlights was a capacity building and networking event for the PFAN Network in Nairobi, bringing together advisors from the whole of sub-Saharan Africa to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing to strengthen expertise in key domains.

    The week was fortified through valuable collaborations with prominent training partners including Cross Boundary, Investhia Africa and Convergence Finance, who provided valuable training in carbon finance, financial modelling and deal closing and blended finance. Their expertise and contributions significantly enriched the learning experiences, ensuring participants gained insights from industry leaders and experts. Together, these partnerships have strengthened the impact of PFAN’s training initiatives, facilitating the development of skills and knowledge, crucial for driving sustainable practices in the industry.



    [3] from USAID 2019 and GFDRR 2019