Due to steep barriers against private investment, many African renewable energy markets are severely underdeveloped. This competition is part of a campaign on behalf of the Climate Investment Fund to defray risks associated and encourage private investment. It matches with similar efforts on the part of the African Development Bank, which has been recently ramping up its investment on renewable energy projects as part of an attempt to mitigate the dangers of severe climate change.
The 15 projects selected were spread across 6 countries, including Mali, Ghana, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and Mozambique. Many of these countries have serious issues with instability, resulting in the aforementioned lack of private investment. It is for this exact reason, however, that the projects are the most needed.
For example, Mali currently imports all of its fossil fuels. With the $40 million Mali received, it hopes to develop a solar photovoltaic grid system, subsidize investment in solar photovoltaic and biofuels, and encourage the development of micro-hydropower plants.