Zimbabwe stands to benefit immensely from the African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) which has availed a US$1.2 million Innovation Fund to unlock the potential of renewable energy to create new business opportunities in seven countries including Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia and Mali.
In a statement AECF chief executive officer, Ms Victoria Sabula, said the fund was aimed at strengthening market readiness of emerging innovations, as well as securing financial, technical, and networking support for taking existing proven prototypes to scale.
“The Innovation Fund is key to enhancing large-scale transformation within local communities. Investing in affordable and accessible renewable energy solutions can create jobs, grow economies, and build more sustainable livelihoods,” she said.
“Through the fund, we hope to unearth new ways that renewable technology – be it domestic, communal, or commercial – can be used to generate income and create jobs.”
Ms Sabula said the Innovation Fund builds on AECF’s Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies (REACT) initiative, which was launched to support the private sector develop and expand its clean energy technologies to Africa’s rural communities.
The Fund, she added, will invest in technologies that meet market needs as well as accelerating the development of existing solutions to better serve African communities and not technologies in the prototype stage.