Investing in Africa’s Clear Power Transition


Our conviction in Africa’s huge potential is a part of what fuels the local weather funding technique of the Cisco Basis. Amongst our imaginative and prescient, we see the transition to scrub vitality not simply as a necessity, however as a catalyst for inclusive development and digital innovation. And thru the Cisco Basis’s $100 million Local weather Dedication, we’re investing wholeheartedly on this imaginative and prescient. Our latest investments into early-stage local weather ventures SHYFT Energy Options and Jaza Power, following our earlier restricted partnership with The Catalyst Fund, are essential steps on our journey to assist construct a sustainable future throughout the continent.

Fixing Africa’s Power Gaps

Africa’s vitality panorama is confronting a essential shortfall, with roughly 600 million individuals in sub-Saharan Africa nonetheless missing electrical energy, accounting for over 80% of the worldwide inhabitants dwelling with out electrical energy​​​​. As a result of impracticalities of increasing grids as a result of geographical and monetary constraints, the main target has shifted in the direction of distributed vitality sources.  Microgrids, and off-grid options will not be simply options however requirements, notably in reaching distant and rural communities with inexpensive and cost-effective vitality options. Photo voltaic mini grids have been on the forefront of this sustainable transformation, with, in accordance with the World Financial institution, a rise from about 500 installations in 2010 to greater than 3,000 in sub-Saharan Africa at present, and with plans for an additional 9,000. By 2030, it’s anticipated that the price of electrical energy from mini grids may fall to as low as $0.20/kWh, making it essentially the most inexpensive possibility for greater than 60 p.c of the inhabitants​​. Mini grids may assist us obtain the bold UN Sustainable Growth Purpose 7, which goals for common vitality entry by 2030.

Digitalization in Africa’s Power Transition

Within the realm of digital innovation, we should create seamless integration between off-grid and on-grid methods to make sure dependable and steady entry to electrical energy. This integration is essential to transitioning from intermittent energy provides to a secure and resilient vitality infrastructure. Different innovation priorities embrace the expansion of cost-effective, scalable off-grid options that may attain essentially the most susceptible residents, who’re dwelling at or underneath the worldwide poverty line of $2.15 per day, as outlined by the World Financial institution. Expertise and digital options are central to this endeavor, as they permit the environment friendly and efficient adoption of renewable vitality sources, essential for closing Africa’s intensive vitality hole.

Web of Issues (IoT) options are additionally important in enhancing the effectivity and scalability of distributed vitality sources, resembling off-grid methods, photo voltaic panels, and storage options. These applied sciences allow real-time monitoring and administration of vitality property, thereby optimizing vitality distribution and consumption. The Cisco Basis is keen to help the potential of data and communication applied sciences, together with IoT and software-enabled off-grid vitality, to help the local weather transition.

Two men in purple shirts installing renewable energy.
Instance of a SHYFT Energy set up. Photograph offered by SHYFT Energy.

Enter our new portfolio investees, SHYFT Energy and Jaza Power. SHYFT Energy is pioneering using IoT to effectively handle vitality sources, whereas Jaza Power is innovating by integrating solar-powered hubs with telecommunications towers. These initiatives illustrate the highly effective synergy between connectivity and vitality, which play a pivotal function in empowering underserved communities and contributes to a extra linked and sustainable future in Africa. As a part of the broader Cisco household, these investees of the Cisco Basis Local weather Dedication can entry an in depth vary of in-kind sources and volunteer advisory. This help not solely furthers these applied sciences but in addition underscores our dedication to fostering modern, sustainable, and extra inclusive options globally.

SHYFT Energy: Software program & IoT Innovation for Dependable Clear Power

A woman in a black dress standing next to renewable energy equipment.
Ugwem Eneyo, founding father of SHYFT Energy, alongside workforce members. Photograph by SHYFT Energy.

SHYFT Energy Options, a 2017 Cisco World Downside Solver Problem recipient rising from Stanford College, is reworking vitality administration in Nigeria, and has turn out to be a key participant within the Cisco Basis funding portfolio. Their superior platform integrates varied energy sources to enhance vitality effectivity and encourage clear vitality adoption. The innovation that SHYFT brings to the desk is additional exemplified by its utilization of IoT, software program, and sensible meter options, that are important in tackling the vitality entry and reliability points prevalent in Nigeria.

The constructive impression of SHYFT Energy has been echoed by its clients, as illustrated by the glowing suggestions from Bola Yusuf, Normal Supervisor at Wemabod Towers in Ikoyi. He asserts, “As a property and amenities managers of a high-brow constructing offering 24-hour energy, vitality effectivity is essential for us, and SHYFT has been instrumental in reaching transparency. Their sensible vitality options enable us to successfully monitor and optimize consumption, decreasing prices, and supporting sustainability. What units SHYFT aside is their distinctive buyer help – immediate, educated, they usually present options tailor-made to our wants. They’ve been a worthwhile companion in our journey in the direction of vitality effectivity and price financial savings.”

This direct endorsement underscores the seamless integration of IoT expertise inside their methods, demonstrating how digital options can considerably bolster sustainable vitality administration. SHYFT’s strategy is pivotal in decreasing carbon emissions and serves as a normal within the administration of distributed vitality sources. It’s with nice enthusiasm that we be part of an esteemed record of local weather buyers backing SHYFT Energy, together with Powerhouse Ventures, Third Sphere, and KawiSafi Ventures.

Jaza Power: Empowering Communities with Sustainable Power

A wooden structure with palm trees behind it, lit up at night.
Instance of a Jaza Hub in Tanzania. Photograph offered by Jaza.

Jaza Power, one other new funding portfolio firm, is revolutionizing clear vitality entry in Tanzania and Nigeria with its photo voltaic hubs.

In Tanzania, 66% of households nonetheless use kerosene for vitality wants. Jaza hubs provide a sustainable various to these reliant on kerosene and mills, illuminating over 11,500 properties and benefiting 90,000 individuals. Jaza’s impactful partnership with IHS Towers, one of many world’s largest house owners, operators and builders of shared communications infrastructure, integrates vitality with telecommunication providers, extending its attain.

By leveraging digital instruments and superior batteries, Jaza addresses the vitality deficit impacting 600 million individuals in sub-Saharan Africa, the place annual fossil gasoline expenditure reaches $27 billion. Tales from Jaza’s hubs, like Agineta’s in Msambara, Tanzania, showcase the numerous enchancment in dwelling requirements” “The standard of the sunshine permits me to work after darkish and my youngsters are in a position to examine,” she says.

Jaza employs over 250 native girls as “Jaza Stars,” additional amplifying its social impression. One Jaza Star, staff chargeable for gross sales and group growth, from Mchori expressed, “After working with Jaza, I take part in decision-making in my household,” highlighting the empowerment introduced by these roles.

We proudly help Jaza’s mission for a extra inclusive future, alongside companions like Canada’s Energetic Influence Investments. This initiative exemplifies our dedication to modern, sustainable options, aligning with the Cisco Basis’s imaginative and prescient of sustainable group growth.

Local weather Investments for a Sustainable, Inclusive Future

The Cisco Basis is a definite authorized entity established in 1997 by a present from Cisco. However the Basis’s work displays Cisco’s power as a tech chief; its objective to Energy an Inclusive for All; and its strategic environmental sustainability priorities to speed up clear vitality adoption, transition to a round mannequin, and spend money on resilient ecosystems. By supporting local weather ventures like SHYFT Energy and Jaza Power and pre-seed innovation platforms like The Catalyst Fund, the Cisco Basis invests in a imaginative and prescient of a regenerative future the place connectivity, superior applied sciences and sustainability coalesce to energy inclusive development in Africa​​. Our local weather investments by way of the Cisco Basis replicate our imaginative and prescient for an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable future for Africa, they usually embody our perception in a world the place expertise can drive sustainability, fostering an inclusive future for all.

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