Off Grid Electric to expand into Ghana with $55mn Series D funding
The African rooftop solar provider, Off Grid Electric, announced on 19 January its initiatives of expansion and funding.
The firm, along with UK-based EDF, are to expand their partnership in West Africa by offering off-grid solar solutions in Ghana.
Off Grid Electric has secured US$55mn in Series D funding, led by Helious Investment Partners and with support from GE Ventures, in order to make this happen.
The funding comes as the largest venture equity investment into Africa from the investment firm, which is acting on behalf of the funds it advises.
“2017 was a memorable year for Off Grid Electric. We achieved operating profitability in our largest market, launched a transformative new phase of product and technology development, and established clear market leadership in four African markets,” commented Xavier Helgesen, Co-Founder and CEO of Off Grid Electric.
“We are excited to work closely with Helios and GE Ventures to accelerate our next stage of growth,” added Bill Lenihan, President of Off Grid Electric.
“They join a roster of strategic and capital partners that is already the strongest in the industry, including Tesla, Total, EDF, DBL Partners, Zouk Capital, Vulcan Capital, and Omidyar Network.”
“As the largest private equity firm exclusively focused on Africa, energy access is a priority theme for Helios,” stated Tope Lawani, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Helios Partners.
“Our strategy is to build market-leading platform businesses in core sectors of the continent’s larger economies,” he added.
We believe the innovative platform OGE is developing will play an important role in Africa’s electricity future, and have a positive impact on the lives of Africans.”
Sub-Saharan Africa houses more than 600mn people without electricity, with the grid source for many who do have it being unreliable.
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”