RGREEN INVEST and ECHOSYS INVEST announce first closing of AFRIGREEN Debt Impact Fund
French fund manager RGREEN INVEST and investment advisor ECHOSYS INVEST today announced the first closing of their new fund, the AFRIGREEN Debt Impact Fund, raising €87.5 million, which will be used to finance on-and off-grid solar power plants for small and medium-sized commercial and industrial consumers in Africa.
By displacing fossil fuel generation with solar power, commercial and industrial consumers will reduce electricity bills, increase reliability of power supply and lower greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
The first closing includes a commitment from the European Investment Bank (EIB), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), itself including a commitment from the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Program, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) and PROPARCO (French DFI, subsidiary of Agence française de développement Group). French private banks Societe Generale and BNP Paribas complete this first funding round. AFRIGREEN targets raising a total of €100 million from development finance institutions and private investors.
Africa boasts 39% of the world's total renewable potential, and yet investment in renewable energy has been lagging behind
Olivier Lerust, President of Echosys Invest
Investments in renewable energy globally increased by 9% year-on-year, reaching an all-time high in 2021, according to a 2022 BloombergNEF report. However, investments dropped by 35% in Africa, representing just 0.6% of global renewable energy investments. AFRIGREEN will help bridge this funding gap through direct lending and asset-based debt facilities for regional and international developers as well as African commercial and industrial companies to develop solar photovoltaic energy infrastructure across Africa, with a particular focus on West and Central Africa.
Further, AFRIGREEN will be able to offer long-term local currency financing in Ghana and Nigeria withsupport from the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window Local Currency Facility. This is expected to significantly reduce the foreign exchange risk and materially increase the Fund’s competitiveness.
With this vehicle we intend to deepen the partnership with our French and international partners to provide SMEs and SMIs in Central and West Africa with the backing they need to thrive.
Nicolas Rochon, CEO RGreen Invest
AFRIGREEN is classified article 9 under the SFDR. It will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals 7 (Clean and Affordable Energy), 9 (Industry and Infrastructure), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 13 (Action on Climate Change) set by the United Nations.
The Fund’s impact targets will be measured in terms of MW installed, MWh produced, tons of CO2 emissions and litres of fuel avoided, number of companies directly or indirectly accessing new financing channel, and the number of commercial and industrial companies able to upgrade their power generation facilities and enhance their efficiency.
The Fund will also apply IFC Performance Standards and EIB Environmental and Social Standards that require the Fund to monitor its environmental and social impact by screening, categorizing, and conducting environmental and social due diligence on its investments.
By partnering with AFRIGREEN, we can accelerate the growth of the solar market in the region and make local currency available for Africa’s energy transition
Sarvesh Suri, IFC Director for Infrastructure and Natural Resources
ECHOSYS INVEST was created to structure and manage AFRIGREEN, benefiting from both ECHOSYS ADVISORY’s experience in emerging markets and RGREEN INVEST’s partnership network and expertise in flexible financial structuring.
We are proud to be part of a growing global movement to invest in solutions that both create positive social and environmental impacts, and generate financial returns
Vicky Carré, BIO investment officer
Founded in 2013, RGREEN INVEST is an independent French investment management company, and “entreprise à mission” with a proven track record in investing and financing the energy transition, climate change mitigation and adaptation. Among the first players to offer a complete range of bespoke financial solutions, RGREEN INVEST serves the energy transition in Europe with entrepreneurial passion. With more than thirty experienced professionals, whose expertise spans fund management, investment banking, asset-management, and renewable energy, RGREEN INVEST boasts one of the broadest teams of specialists in financing energy transition-related infrastructure projects in France. Mindful of climate issues, the company enshrines robust ESG principles into its investment criteria, enabling institutional investors to take part in the energy transition while sharing the financial gains. With over 1.6 billion euros under management, RGREEN INVEST contributes to the financing of projects in Europe and abroad equivalent to a total installed capacity of more than 3.3 GW to date, thus avoiding nearly 844,000 tons of CO2 emissions in 2021.
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RGREEN INVEST Communications Department
ECHOSYS ADVISORY is an advisory firm dedicated to the financing of renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and industrial decarbonisation, founded in 2020 by Alexandre Gilles and Olivier Leruste. It is structured in two practices. The financial advisory practice is headed by Laetitia Dubois, Managing Partner. The team assists its clients in the financing of their energy transition projects through a wide range of services such as financial structuration, fundraising (debt and equity), mergers & acquisitions mandates, and strategic consulting.
ECHOSYS INVEST, a 50/50 joint venture between RGREEN INVEST and ECHOSYS ADVISORY, was created in 2021 as the AFRIGREEN fund advisor designed to manage and structure the AFRIGREEN investment strategy and to focus on Africa’s energy transition, and more specifically to bolster solar penetration across the Sub-Saharan region.
Equity € 10,000,000.00 (2023)Sub-Saharan Africa, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal
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