The Southern African Renewable Energy Investment and Growth (SOARING) Programme aims to launch a sustainable climate finance catalyst programme that supports access to finance by Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for investment in clean energy alternatives in agricultural value chains, as well as off-grid power provision for rural and peri-urban areas.
SMEs play a critical role and form the backbone of many economies by promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Although the combined financing requirements of SMEs are huge, their individual asks are typically too small to attract existing climate finance instruments and investors. As a result, access to finance continues to be a key barrier to the growth of SMEs. SOARING aims to launch a sustainable climate finance catalyst program for SMEs in Southern Africa, supporting countries in mobilizing and channelling climate and private finance to achieve their targeted National Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Programme is being implemented across three countries (Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia) with the overarching goal of bringing about and improved financial ecosystem in 2 of 3 pilot countries for blended climate investment into clean energy at SME-level.
SOARING aims to develop and pilot a prototype financial instrument that can more effectively and efficiently channel climate and blended funding to these markets. SOARING will also seek to establish stakeholder engagement vehicles to coordinate activities and promote synergies among different stakeholders in the three countries (i.e. SMEs, financial institutions, policymakers, climate funds) with the overall aim to establish a pathway to increase access to catalytic climate and blended finance on a national as well as on the regional level. In addition, the Programme seeks to support peer-to-peer learning and capacity building for government, financiers and the private sector, using tailored outreach, training and technical assistance.
SOARING is financed by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Ministry for the Environment (BMU), and lead by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Programme (REEEP), with SouthSouthNorth (SSN) and the Renewables Academy AG (RENAC) as consortium partners.