In a groundbreaking alliance aimed at transforming energy landscapes in East Africa, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has joined forces with the KawiSafi Ventures Fund to drive the adoption of off-grid solar power solutions. The collaborative initiative, anchored in the Swahili concept of “KawiSafi” meaning “clean energy,” seeks to provide faster, more affordable, and environmentally friendly power to underserved communities in Rwanda and Kenya. These nations grapple with significant off-grid populations, making this partnership pivotal in addressing their energy needs. As Africa faces the dual challenges of climate change consequences and the imperative for sustainable energy solutions, GCF and KawiSafi Ventures Fund strategic focus on East Africa underscores the critical role of innovative investments in adapting and mitigating the impacts of climate change in the region. This transformative collaboration reflects a commitment to fostering Rwanda’s Clean Energy solution that not only empower communities but also contribute to building resilience in the face of climate challenges.

GCF and KawiSafi Ventures Fund Driving Off-Grid Solar Power

In a transformative initiative, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the KawiSafi Ventures Fund are spearheading the adoption of off-grid solar power solutions in East Africa. This partnership, driven by the concept of “KawiSafi” or “clean energy” in Swahili, aims to provide faster, cheaper, and cleaner power to underserved communities in Rwanda and Kenya, where a substantial portion of the population lives off-grid.

Addressing Africa’s Climate Challenges and Energy Needs

While Africa contributes only three percent of global human-induced greenhouse gas emissions annually, the continent is anticipated to bear severe consequences of climate change. Recognizing the need for significant investments in infrastructure, manufacturing capacity, and the economy, GCF and KawiSafi Ventures Fund are focusing on East Africa to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

KawiSafi Ventures Fund – A Catalyst for Clean Energy Solutions

Developed by impact investor Acumen and financed by GCF, the KawiSafi Ventures Fund plays a pivotal role in unlocking the potential of renewable off-grid energy. In a region like Rwanda, where 70 percent of the population lives off-grid, and in Kenya, with 80 percent living off-grid and 35 million lacking access to affordable electricity, KawiSafi invests in clean energy companies. The fund’s objective is to deploy decentralized, decarbonized energy infrastructure, offering critical services and boosting productivity for underserved populations.

Holistic Approach to Clean Energy Solutions

KawiSafi goes beyond merely investing in clean energy companies. It actively addresses challenges such as lack of electricity and high kerosene use by providing affordable household solar energy solutions like solar lanterns, solar home systems, and solar mini-grids. Additionally, the fund invests in complementary aspects of the ecosystem, including consumer finance, mobile payment solutions, and metering/monitoring technologies. A Technical Assistance Facility ensures that the core needs of KawiSafi portfolio companies are met, supporting their scalability and financial viability.

Success Story with BBOXX and Transforming Lives

The success story of KawiSafi’s investment in BBOXX, a pioneering low-emission energy company in Rwanda, underscores the transformative power of clean energy solutions. BBOXX’s innovative off-grid energy solutions have not only brought sustainable power to communities but have also become a catalyst for positive socio-economic change. A remarkable 30 percent of BBOXX’s customers have been empowered to generate income, illustrating the profound impact of access to clean energy on livelihoods. By replacing traditional energy sources with environmentally friendly alternatives, BBOXX has not only illuminated homes but has also illuminated opportunities for economic advancement. This success story resonates as a testament to the broader potential of clean energy initiatives in uplifting communities, creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond powering homes, ultimately fostering resilience and prosperity in regions previously underserved by traditional energy infrastructure.

KawiSafi II – A Vision for Future Growth

With the success of the initial KawiSafi project, a second extended phase, KawiSafi II, is set to create a USD 200 million venture equity fund. Approved for GCF funding in July 2023, KawiSafi II will target the investment gap in crucial areas – energy transition, productivity, and mobility and logistics – where sub-Saharan countries often struggle to attract investors. Alongside financial support, KawiSafi II will establish a USD 10 million technical assistance facility, ensuring that supported organizations maximize their climate impact and implement robust management systems to address environmental, social, and governance risks.


The collaboration between the Green Climate Fund and the KawiSafi Ventures Fund stands as a beacon of innovation and sustainability in East Africa’s energy landscape. By spearheading off-grid solar power solutions, this partnership addresses the pressing energy needs of underserved communities in Rwanda and Kenya, contributing not only to cleaner and more affordable power but also to climate resilience. The success story with BBOXX highlights the tangible impact of such initiatives on livelihoods, demonstrating the transformative power of clean energy. With the approval of KawiSafi II, the venture’s extended phase, there is a promising trajectory towards a USD 200 million equity fund, emphasizing a continued commitment to bridging investment gaps in critical areas. This collaboration exemplifies the potential for scalable climate action in vulnerable African communities, promising a brighter, more sustainable future for East Africa.