Sahara Foundation promotes clean energy, floats SIF

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Uba Group

Uba Group

BY BAMIDELE FAMOOFO

Sahara Foundation, the corporate citizenship vehicle of energy and infrastructure conglomerate Sahara Group, has launched the 2nd Cohort of the Sahara Impact Fund and the Governance Unusual Programme to support social innovators creating solutions that increase access to clean energy and promote sustainable environments.

The project reinforces Sahara Group’s commitment to bringing energy to life responsibly by connecting social innovators with opportunities that will enhance their contribution to eradicating energy poverty and enhancing environmental sustainability.

The SIF is a strategic partnership involving Sahara Foundation, Ford Foundation, LEAP Africa and Impact Investors Foundation.

The Sahara Impact Fund will provide seed funding of $5,000 each for successful finalists, including incremental funding access based on impact, reach and sustainability matrices targeted at supporting young social entrepreneurs in Africa.

Ghislain Irakoze , Founder, Wastezon, Rwanda who is a beneficiary of the SIF seed funding, disclosed testifies: “In addition to the seed capital, which was a great boost to my business, I have also built professional networks with like-minded passionate entrepreneurs from all over Africa,” said In addition, the Fellows will have mentoring sessions with business leaders at Sahara Group and other private sector partners, to scale up clean energy and sustainable environment innovations.

The inaugural cohort of the SIF produced Fellows from Cameroon, Nigeria, Rwanda and Malawi who are spearheading transformative solutions through their businesses.

Damilola Asaleye, Co- founder- Ashdam Solar said the learning from the Sahara Impact Fund fellowship has become a daily guide for my organization to achieve our strategic plans of providing access to clean and affordable energy for all in Nigeria.

Pearl Uzokwe, Director, Sahara Foundation, said the Sahara Impact Fund and Governance Unusual programme will reinforce ongoing conversations around increasing entrepreneurial capacity and inspiring a paradigm shift in governance through individual responsibility.

“We are delighted to lead and join the quest of ensuring that no one is left behind when it comes to energy access and shore up expertise and capacity towards providing global solutions for environmental sustainability. We urge social innovators across Africa to apply to be part of this movement today,” she said.

Uzokwe said applications for the SIF are open from May 9 to May 30, 2022.

The maiden edition in 2021 exposed the ten social innovator fellows to blended capacity building sessions in the form of workshops, webinars, immersion sessions, facility tours, cohort meetings, mentoring sessions, one-on-one strategy & finance sessions and Fire chat sessions.

Since inception, Sahara Foundation has implemented various projects across its locations in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, impacting the lives of over 2,000,000 beneficiaries, with youth accounting for over 50% of the beneficiaries.