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ElectriFI backs Les Soleils du Bénin with a EUR 3.1 million investment, ensuring sustainable energy access to over 3 000 households and businesses in Benin

[Cotonou, 4 September 2023] – The Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI), managed by EDFI Management Company, has announced an investment of EUR 3.1 million in Les Soleils du Bénin under the Benin Country Window funded by the European Union and established in close collaboration with the EU Delegation in Cotonou and the Beninese government. With the signature of a EUR 3.1 million Senior Debt Agreement with Les Soleils du Bénin, ElectriFI fortifies the project’s financing structure and complements the equity financing from NEoT Offgrid Africa. This strategic investment adds substantial momentum to Les Soleils du Bénin, propelling it towards its mission of delivering clean energy to thousands of homes and businesses in the country.

Les Soleils du Bénin, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) jointly developed by GDS International and Africa Renewable Energy System & Solution (“ARESS”), in partnership with NEoT Offgrid Africa, aims to construct and operate a portfolio of 12 mini-grids in Benin. This initiative seeks to deploy 1.7MWp of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity, backed by 3MWh of battery storage, thereby empowering over 3 000 households and businesses with reliable electricity supply. The total project cost of approximately EUR 9 million is supported in part by subsidies from the MCA-Benin II Offgrid Clean Energy Facility.

The EU Ambassador to Benin, HE Sylvia Hartleif, shared her support: “The EU is proud to put forward innovative instruments to strengthen public-private partnerships in response to global challenges, such as accelerating electrification and powering clean energy solutions to address climate change. Our partnership with Les Soleils du Bénin is a direct local translation of the EU’s Global Gateway investment strategy which will contribute to sustainable economic growth and improved living conditions for the Beninese people.

Léonide Sinsin, Les Soleils du Bénin’s General Director, also shared his thoughts on the investment, saying, “This investment from ElectriFI is a significant milestone for Les Soleils du Bénin. It underscores the importance of partnerships and demonstrates the shared commitment to providing clean energy access to the people of Benin. We are thrilled to work alongside ElectriFI, Générale du Solaire International, ARESS, NEoT Offgrid Africa, and the EU to realize our vision of a sustainable and electrified future for our communities.

Expressing his enthusiasm for the investment, Rodrigo Madrazo, CEO of EDFI MC, stated “We are delighted to extend our support to Les Soleils du Bénin, whose transformative project aligns perfectly with ElectriFI’s mission to foster sustainable energy solutions in developing countries. By investing in this innovative initiative, we are reaffirming our commitment to electrifying underserved communities and catalyzing a positive socio-economic impact.

The partnership between GDS International and ARESS, both established players in the renewable energy sector, ensures a robust business plan, while NEoT Offgrid Africa’s involvement as a financing partner bolsters the project’s equity financing. This collaboration sets the stage for a powerful alliance, striving to create a lasting impact on the energy landscape of Benin.

The project stands as a testament to the potential unleashed by collective efforts, technological innovation, and sustainable finance. Through this partnership, ElectriFI, GDS International, ARESS, NEoT Offgrid Africa, and the EU are pioneering a brighter, more sustainable future for the people of Benin.


About ElectriFI

ElectriFI is an EU-funded impact investment facility, managed by EDFI Management Company, financing early-stage private companies and projects, focusing on new/improved electricity connections as well as on generation capacity from sustainable energy sources in emerging markets.

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About GDS International

GDS International, subsidiary of the Générale du Solaire group, is one of the main French players in solar energy. With over twelve years of global experience in the development and implementation of successful renewable energy projects, the Group is present in many countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa to develop, design, build and maintain solar photovoltaic farms, especially mini-grids for rural electrification and C&I.

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About Africa Renewable Energy System & Solution

Created in 2012, ARESS is a subsidiary of the MYJOULEBOX group specializing in the marketing of solar systems. ARESS is currently operating in 4 West African markets and aims to become one of the main private energy operators on the continent.  With a workforce of approximately 80 people, one third of whom are women, ARESS’s vision is to be a pioneer in the field of new energies and applications. Excellence in our trade, the quality of our products and services, innovation, and dignity are the values for which we stand.

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About NEoT Offgrid Africa

NEoT Offgrid Africa (NOA) is an investment platform designed to support the energy transition in Africa by responding to energy access issues. Founded and owned by Meridiam (as majority shareholder) and EDF, NOA develops innovative financing solutions for its partners to remove obstacles related to initial investments, the deployment of new technologies, and the management of commercial risk.

NOA is managed by NEoT Capital, which has assembled a team experienced in financial structuring and clean energy solutions to work together with international strategic partners to provide the financial and operational support necessary for the development of a carbon-free world.

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Media contacts: Natasa Lakovic – EDFI Management Company (

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