New Economy Accelerator receives Canadian $500k

The African Centre for a Green Economy, the coordinator for the New Economy Accelerator, has received $500 000 Canadian dollars from the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC). 

The funding will be used towards a comprehensive three-year research programme that is aimed at building an ecosystem to scale up investments in renewable off-grid energy solutions

The funding will be used towards a comprehensive three-year research programme that is aimed at building an ecosystem to scale up investments in renewable off-grid energy solutions. The ecosystem will be targeted at innovative solutions founded in South Africa and Uganda. 

Dr Mao Amis, the Founder of the African Centre for a Green Economy explains that the partnership will further the organisations aim to support South African green-entrepreneurs.

“For the last 6 years the NEA has been supporting green entrepreneurs in South Africa, we are thankful to the IDRC for enabling us to continue doing this important work. We are even more excited about creating the platform for South African green entrepreneurs to collaborate with their counterparts in the rest of the continent, especially Uganda that is regarded as one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the World”.

New Economy Accelerator

Loadshedding has become a frequent occurrence in South Africa with frequent electricity cuts many are turning to off-grid solutions. Electrical cuts have a devastating impact on economic activity. According to reports, lack of access to reliable energy is a challenge faced by more than 600 million individuals. 

According to The African Centre for a Green Economy despite significant investments in alternative energy solutions, the wide uptake of off-grid energy solutions such as Photovoltaic (PV) solar is still “relatively limited”. 

The new programme aims to resolve this by assessing the effectiveness of a wide range of different renewable energy technologies that can be adopted. In turn, the trajectory of these resources in generating green jobs and decreasing carbon emissions will be thoroughly analysed. In addition, the project will analyse the equity and distribution implications of the energy transition in vulnerable communities across gender, age, and income groups; develop potential financial and business models to deliver a just transition.

In essence, the programme aims to promote innovation in the sector of renewable off-grid energy resources and help solve the current issue faced across Africa. 

With this in mind, the accelerator will assist green entrepreneurs in creating business models that take into account the distribution of affordable renewable off-grid energy resources in vulnerable communities. 

Dr Bhim Adhikari, IDRC’s project manager offers his closing thoughts on the partnership. 

 “We are delighted about this opportunity to partner with the African Centre for a Green Economy, on building the evidence base for low carbon development trajectory in Africa. Off-grid energy solutions remain the most important solution to addressing Africa’s development challenges”

Read more: Cape Town tech startup promotes sustainability
Read more: South African tech startup disrupts home improvement sector 

Featured image: Dr Mao Amis, the Founder of the African Centre for a Green Economy (Supplied)

Ishani Chetty: Editor
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