By the end of 2014 the fund hopes to achieve double the funds which they have already acquired. The goal of US $200 million by the end of 2014 is not the finish line, and the regional director of the African Development Bank, Gabriel Negatu, stated that the initial campaign will to “catalyze and crowd in other investors”.
In many African countries access to reliable gird-connected power is a widespread challenge. According to the World Bank, rolling blackouts in sub-Saharan Africa constitute a “crisis”. Moreover, two-thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is without electricity, and approximately 85 percent of rural residents lack access to power.
While it is true that some international actions have occurred to increase the energy infrastructure in Africa, a substantial increase in current funding levels is also required to ensure development. It is also estimated that there is a need to invest upwards of US $300 billion to achieve universal energy access by 2030.
In contrast with many other initiatives such as Power Africa, which prescribes the use of fossil fuels in tandem with renewable energy resources, AREF will not fund any fossil fuel projects.
Instead, AREF will commit between US $10 – 30 million to a mixture of small and medium scale renewable energy projects. The blend of small and medium scale projects will create jobs and electrify the grid without contributing to climate change.