Home » Hassanein Hiridjee-linked WeLight raises $20.5 million to deliver clean energy to 120 villages in Madagascar

Hassanein Hiridjee-linked WeLight raises $20.5 million to deliver clean energy to 120 villages in Madagascar

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Hassanein Hiridjee

WeLight Madagascar, a rural electrification operator owned by AXIAN Group, a pan-African conglomerate led by Malagasy businessman Hassanein Hiridjee, has secured €19 million ($20.5 million) from institutional investors to bring clean, affordable, and reliable energy to remote areas in Madagascar.

With €19 million ($20.5 million) in funding secured from the European Investment Bank (EIB), Triodos Investment Management, and EDFI ElectriFI, WeLight’s ambitious €28-million ($30.3 million) project in Madagascar is set to make a significant impact.

The project aims to bring clean, affordable, reliable, and productive energy to remote rural areas, improving the livelihoods of those living in these communities and promoting sustainable development.

The new investment will allow WeLight to construct solar mini-grids and bring electricity to 120 villages in 17 regions of Madagascar that lack access, chosen in partnership with Madagascar’s Ministry of Energy and the Agency for the Development of Rural Electrification (ADER).

WeLight’s existing shareholders, including AXIAN Group, a French industrial group, Sagemcom, and the Norwegian investment fund for developing countries, Norfund, will contribute the remaining €9 million ($9.74 million) in the form of shareholder loans.

“Africa has a unique opportunity to spearhead a low-carbon revolution while eliminating energy poverty on the continent,” AXIAN Group CEO Hassanein Hiridjee said. “We are delighted that the European Investment Bank, Triodos Investment Management, and EDFI ElectriFI are supporting Africa in reaching its clean energy potential.”

Hiridjee added that the financing will help to connect as many as 45,000 households and businesses in Madagascar to the nation’s power grid, enabling them to gain access to clean and affordable energy.

As approximately 25 percent of the population in Madagascar has access to electricity, off-grid solar technology has proven to be a fast and effective solution to accelerate economic growth and sustainable development in regions where connection to the grid is still challenging.

Romain de Villeneuve, CEO of WeLight Madagascar, believes the new project will significantly improve rural electrification in Madagascar and positively impact hundreds of thousands of people, greatly enhancing living standards, the local economy, and people’s well-being.

WeLight provides clean, affordable, reliable, and productive energy to people in remote rural areas of Madagascar and Sub-Saharan Africa. It was founded by the Axian Group, Sagemcom, and Norfund in order to develop and roll out renewable energy solutions across the continent. To date, the company has installed 40 mini-grids, representing 9,000 electrified households.

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