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Oikocredit invests € 1.4 million in Weziza Benin to support the growth of distributed energy

Oikocredit invests € 1.4 million in Weziza Benin to support the growth of distributed energy

Tuesday 12 April 2022

Weziza Benin will develop, construct and operate solar mini-grids to provide electricity to rural communities over the next 10 years

Amersfoort, the Netherlands – Social impact investor Oikocredit is providing long- term project financing to Weziza Benin, an off-grid distributed energy enterprise, to connect 40,000 people in rural Benin to solar electricity.

With Oikocredit's support, Weziza Benin will provide 21 rural communities with clean, affordable and reliable electricity generated through renewable energy systems designed as solar photovoltaic-powered mini-grids. The project is also supported by funding from the Millennium Challenge Account–Benin II and Agence Béninoise d'Electrification Rurale et de Maîtrise d'Energie, with a grant for each community connected.

Weziza Benin is part of the Energicity group of companies that, since inception in 2015, has been a global energy transition pioneer offering solar solutions to clients in emerging markets around the world. Energicity has installed and commissioned 44 projects to date with a total capacity of 1.45 megawatts, serving more than 47 communities.It has a further 37 installations with a capacity of over two megawatts under development.

Nicole Poindexter, CEO at Weziza Benin, said: “We at Weziza Benin are thrilled by our new partnership with Oikocredit. Oikocredit’s commitment to the sustainable eradication of energy poverty and the empowerment of low-income people and communities aligns perfectly with our goals. Through this partnership Weziza Benin will provide solar power to encourage families with light for their children to study, enable entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and help clinics provide modern health care – in short, the partnership will enable rural communities in Benin to thrive.”

Siebren Wilschut, Investment Officer at Oikocredit, said: "We're delighted to support Weziza Benin as they expand their provision of access to safe, clean and reliable energy. Renewable energy mini-grids have enormous potential to meet the needs of millions who currently experience energy poverty, to support productive uses of electricity and to stimulate development in rural communities. With Oikocredit’s support, Weziza Benin will continue to scale up its social impact for the benefit of thousands of households.”

About Weziza Benin and Energicity

Weziza Benin is the Benin subsidiary of Energicity Corp and was selected in 2019 by the Government of Benin and the US Millennium Challenge Corporation through a competitive process to electrify off-grid communities in three regions of the country. Starting with Weziza Benin and its sister subsidiary Power Leone in Sierra Leone, Energicity aims to provide sustainable electricity to people across West Africa. In addition to Oikocredit’s investment, Energicity has secured finance from leading impact investors including the Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Treehouse Management, King Philanthropies and the Renewable Energy Performance Platform.

About Oikocredit

Social impact investor and worldwide cooperative Oikocredit has 46 years of experience funding organisations active in financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy.

Oikocredit's loans, equity investments and capacity building aim to enable people on low incomes in Africa, Asia and Latin America to improve their living standards sustainably.

Oikocredit finances 517 partners with total outstanding capital of € 847 million (at 31 December 2021). For more information see: www.oikocredit.coop.

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Note for editors

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Jasmin Panjeta, Communications Business Partner, Oikocredit International, telephone: +31 33 422 4040, email: jpanjeta@oikocredit.org.

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