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    TDB Group Commits $2 Million Loan in MPower Ventures to Enhance Solar Access in Zambia

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    In a bid to enhance access to modern and affordable energy solutions in Zambia, the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank Group (TDB Group) has extended a 3-year USD 2 million term loan to MPower Ventures Zambia Limited. This financial injection aims to facilitate the importation and retail of solar products to off-grid communities in the country.

    MPower Zambia is poised to expand its deployment range of plug-and-play household solar devices and market-driven productive use assets such as freezers, sewing machines, and water pumps. These efforts are targeted towards benefiting lower- and middle-income households, SMEs, and farmers in peri-urban and rural areas, where access to electricity remains a challenge.

    Gloria Mamba, Executive Director of the Trade and Development Fund, expressed satisfaction with the collaboration, emphasizing the importance of providing concessional financial solutions to SMEs. She highlighted the transformative impact such initiatives can have on communities, fostering green growth opportunities and sustainable development across the region.

    The partnership also involves the construction of 50 new rural energy hubs by MPower Zambia. These hubs will serve as crucial access points for communities to obtain energy for both domestic and public purposes, including lighting health centers. The project is expected to create 30 direct and over 500 indirect jobs, contributing to increased productivity and economic activity in rural areas.

    Prof. Oliver Saasa, Chairperson of the Trade and Development Fund Board of Directors, underscored the significance of private sector investment in achieving Zambia’s Rural Electrification Master Plan goals. He noted the government’s strategy to encourage such investments to bridge the energy gap, particularly through renewable energy solutions like solar power.

    Commenting on the loan agreement, Manuel Seiffe, CEO and Co-Founder of MPower Ventures, expressed gratitude for the support from TDB Group. He emphasized the company’s commitment to expanding access to clean, reliable, and affordable energy solutions in Zambia, especially in areas with limited access to the electricity grid.

    Michael Eschmann and Greg Nau, COO and CFO respectively, highlighted the company’s dedication to sustainable development and job creation through the construction of rural energy hubs. They emphasized the importance of partnerships like the one with TDB Group in driving positive change and promoting green growth opportunities in the region.

    The loan facility was formalized during a breakfast meeting at the Intercontinental, Lusaka, attended by key stakeholders including government representatives, project directors, and CEOs. Discussions during the meeting centered on opportunities for financing renewable energy projects in Zambia.

    TDB Group remains committed to supporting its member states in achieving their national priorities by providing innovative financing solutions in critical sectors that promote sustainable development.

    Established in 1985, the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) is an investment-grade African regional development finance group. With an asset base of USD 10 billion, TDB Group has 25 African member states and provides financing to foster trade, regional economic integration, and sustainable development.

     MPower Ventures is a venture-backed climate fintech and impact venture that focuses on revolutionizing access to affordable solar solutions across Sub-Saharan Africa. The company leverages an innovative business model to partner with local distributors and ensure access to high-quality solar products for households, SMEs, and the agricultural sector.

    Charles Rapulu Udoh is a Lagos-based lawyer, who has several years of experience working in Africa’s burgeoning tech startup industry. He has closed multi-million dollar deals bordering on venture capital, private equity, intellectual property (trademark, patent or design, etc.), mergers and acquisitions, in countries such as in the Delaware, New York, UK, Singapore, British Virgin Islands, South Africa, Nigeria etc. He’s also a corporate governance and cross-border data privacy and tax expert. As an award-winning writer and researcher, he is passionate about telling the African startup story, and is one of the continent’s pioneers in this regard.

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