The US government’s development finance institution, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), will loan $10-million to support the introduction of offgrid solar kits and appliances in Chad.
The loan, extended to a company called FinLux Ellen, will help to distribute solar kits and appliances to individuals, schools, health clinics and small businesses in the African country, providing them with an affordable source of reliable electricity.
The solar kits and appliances that FinLux is distributing in Chad are based on a battery produced in New York and adapted for rural electrification in sub-Saharan Africa.
The loan is OPIC’s thirty-third commitment under the US Power Africa initiative but the first OPIC financing for a project in Chad.
About 40% of Chad’s 15-million people live below the national poverty line and only 4% have regular access to electricity. In rural areas, electricity is particularly scare, with only about 1% of the population having access.
OPIC acting president and CEO David Bohigian said in a statement on Thursday that expanding access to electricity is one of the most effective ways to empower people, improve their quality of life and foster economic growth.