How Multistakeholder Partnerships Can Deliver SDG Progress
A Case Study on P4G Partnership & Africa GreenCo.
Last month, the World Resources Institute launched a landmark new report, “A Time for Transformative Partnerships” that outlines success factors critical to the growth and implementation of multistakeholder partnerships driving progress on the SDGs.
The report findings draw from interviews with 41 multistakeholder partnerships – many of which have been funded, accelerated, and recognized by P4G – and three dozen government experts, business sustainability leaders, and civil society leaders; as well as contributions from the P4G Hub Team and global network, the Global Green Growth Institute, and the World Economic Forum.
Africa GreenCo (GreenCo), which has received two rounds of P4G funding totaling $1.6 million in investment, is a success story that illustrates the impact potential of partnership-driven business models, especially as they incorporate and pursue the success factors outlined in the WRI Report. The partnership aims to increase private-sector investment in clean energy in sub-Saharan Africa by acting as a creditworthy intermediary to create a more dynamic power market in the region.
Earlier this month, GreenCo announced the investment of USD 1.5m by Denmark’s Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and Private Infrastructure Development Group’s InfraCo Africa (InfraCo). This investment completes the partnership’s operationalization in Zambia, with the intent to subsequently spread throughout the sub-Saharan region. Here’s how they got there, as outlined through some of the WRI report’s success factors:
1: A clear articulation of the system of interest
GreenCo, the lead on the partnership, came together with its partners from the Government of Zambia, Agence Française de Développement, Development Bank of Southern Africa, the European Commission, the Green Climate Fund, IFU, InfraCo Africa, and The Rockefeller Foundation to ensure an alignment of private sector investment and innovation and public sector policymaking in its pursuit of affordable, accessible and renewable energy.
Since its first round of P4G funding in 2018, GreenCo team members have regularly met with the P4G Hub to clarify and strengthen its model; and identify the markets where the partnership has the highest potential for initial impact and success. These regular advisory meetings helped contribute to the partnership’s early success – indicated through a $45 million guarantee from its partner, Agence Française de Développement, in early 2019.
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2: Jointly agreed upon transformation vision and near-term goals
P4G followed its venture capital approach to achieve this outcome. After the initial step of originating the partnership and investing in the partnership through two rounds of funding, P4G mobilized its ecosystem to engage with policymakers in Zambia to approve the business model. Through P4G investment and advisory support, GreenCo has aligned stakeholders across African power systems, from developers and investors to national governments, to define and align on a partnership vision and goals. Through an iterative and participatory process, GreenCo developed a master vision and goals document that captures the partnership strategy. Updating this document regularly enables partnership stakeholders to stay focused and aligned even as market conditions change.
3: Capacity to engage stakeholders external to the partnership.
P4G has helped raise the visibility and credibility of the partnership through global events including P4G Copenhagen Summit in 2018 and an event on the sidelines of UNGA in New York in 2019. This focused approach of unlocking investments for impact ultimately led to an initial investment from Denmark’s Investment Fund for Developing Countries and PIDG’s InfraCo Africa to operationalize the GreenCo business model. The partnership is expected to unlock bilateral buy-sell electricity trade transactions in the immediate term involving existing generating stations and will unlock investment in greenfield renewable energy projects over the next year.
Together, these factors have enabled GreenCo to begin transforming the renewable energy sector in Africa – and build a sustainable new business model with systemic impacts across the region.
More about Africa GreenCo:
Africa GreenCo Group via its operating entity GreenCo Power Services Limited acts as an intermediary offtaker and service provider, purchasing power from renewable IPPs and selling that electricity to utilities and private sector offtakers (i.e. commercial and industrial users) and markets of the SAPP. GreenCo will mitigate the risk of purchaser default through an ability to secure alternative buyers or through short-term trading on the SAPP electricity markets. Through its participation in competitive power markets, GreenCo will promote cross-border power transactions and a more dynamic and liquid short-term power market. Through its activities, GreenCo will increase the supply of, and demand for, finance for energy projects, and mobilize private sector capital more quickly towards critical and transformative capacity addition.
About the Authors:
Sarbinder Singh is the Director of Investments at P4G. He is an experienced professional with expertise in managing investments and innovation and has previously managed a portfolio of over $1 billion equity investment in hydroelectric, solar, and natural gas-based combined cycle generating stations. He has delivered several innovative businesses and financial solutions in the energy and utility business involving regulated and contracted assets.
His expertise includes managing innovation at development and growth stages, designing and operationalizing commercial structures, investment valuations, equity investments, project financing, and venture governance. He was instrumental in setting up a seed equity fund for investment in small and medium-sized hydro projects in Nepal and had co-developed one start-up. He has worked with leading organizations in India, the United States, and Canada.
Ana Hajduka is the Founder & CEO of Africa GreenCo. Ana is qualified as a lawyer in both England & Wales and the State of New York and is an infrastructure and energy professional with more than 15 years’ experience in a variety of transactions including project finance, public-private partnerships, and project development, working on energy and infrastructure projects in emerging markets.
Ana trained with Allen & Overy LLP and went on to work for Fulbright & Jaworski LLP and Trinity International LLP, advising on a diverse range of projects within the energy sector, predominately in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ana negotiated and/or was involved in several renewable energy projects across sub-Saharan Africa and is an African IPP project finance and PPA risk allocation specialist.
Ana also worked in an advisory role for power pools in Africa and is therefore well versed in the opportunities and benefits of regional power trading for risk diversification and power market creation. In March 2015, Ana was appointed by the UNECE as the Team Leader responsible for a Project Team (comprising about 30 specialists) in charge of developing international renewable energy PPP standards as part of the Sustainable Energy for All agenda.
In the cover picture: Solar panels. Photo Credit: Unsplash.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com contributors are their own, not those of Impakter.com