17. March 2022 Meghan Sapp

Spark+ Africa Fund raises over $40M for clean cooking

In Ivory Coast, the Spark+ Africa Fund has raised over $40 million in a first close, it was announced on Wednesday. The Fund is the world’s first impact investment fund focused on financing the value chains of clean and modern cooking appliances and fuels, to make them available to more people across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Clean cooking businesses face many challenges, including limited access to investment capital to increase their production and distribution capacity, high-risk perception, and an insufficient return profile to attract commercial investment. Spark+ directly responds to these challenges and is a key component of the African Development Bank’s actions in the area of clean cooking. Spark+ is anchored by the African Development Bank, using resources from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa.

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), managed by the African Development Bank, provided anchor financing for the innovative fund.

Apart from the African Development Bank, Spark+ Africa Fund is supported by more than a dozen investors, including governments, foundations and financial institutions. The Clean Cooking Alliance, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation, and its donors, including the Norwegian and Dutch governments and the African Development Bank, supported the development of Spark+. The Fund has a target size of $70 million.

Spark+ Africa Fund will make debt, mezzanine, and equity investments in companies that manufacture and distribute clean cooking solutions, such as biomass stoves, advanced biomass fuels, liquefied petroleum gas, ethanol and biogas systems. Spark+ will also invest in distributors and consumer finance providers, such as off-grid solar companies and microfinance institutions that extend their services to clean cooking products.