Swedish investment in renewable electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Releases   •   Apr 13, 2018 07:00 GMT

​Sweden’s development finance institution Swedfund is investing SEK 126 million in the Evolution II Fund, which is focused on clean energy supply and resource efficiency in Sub-Saharan Africa. The investment will be used to develop, build and run power stations producing renewable energy. Other investors include the African Development Bank and several European development finance institutions.


​Swedfund is strengthening its support for small and medium-sized businesses in East and West Africa

Press Releases   •   Feb 14, 2018 09:32 GMT

Sweden’s Development finance institution Swedfund has invested USD 10 million in each of the funds Advanced Finance & Investment Group (AFIG) Fund II and Catalyst Fund II. These funds, established in the expansive regions of West and East Africa, enable us to contribute to continued growth in small and medium-sized businesses, which are essential for increased job creation.


​Swedfund provides funding to Access Bank to support Nigerian agribusiness

Press Releases   •   Feb 09, 2018 08:52 GMT

The Development finance institution Swedfund is providing a loan of USD 10 million to Access Bank. Access Bank is one of the leading banks in Nigeria and the loan will be used for businesses operating throughout the entire agricultural value chain, which employs over half of the country’s workforce.


Swedfund contributes to responsible microfinancing in Cambodia

Press Releases   •   Feb 06, 2018 09:38 GMT

​The Development finance institution Swedfund is investing in Cambodia’s largest microfinance company, Prasac Microfinance Institution Ltd (Prasac), through a loan of USD 15 million. The loan will be used for on-lending to the country’s micro businesses and SMEs, which account for the majority of jobs in the country.


Husk Power Systems receives $20 million investment from Shell, Swedfund, ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies to scale renewable mini-grid business in Africa and Asia

Press Releases   •   Jan 16, 2018 07:11 GMT

Husk Power Systems, a leading rural distributed utility company operating mini-grids in Asia and Africa, today announced a US $20 million equity investment* by Shell Technology Ventures LLC, Swedfund and ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies. Husk is now positioned to accelerate its growth to develop what the International Energy Agency estimates as a $190 billion mini-grid market leading up to 2030.


​Swedfund Strengthens its Commitment to Renewable Energy Asia Fund II

Press Releases   •   Dec 14, 2017 07:42 GMT

Swedfund, Sweden’s development finance institution, has made an incremental commitment of MUSD 5 to Renewable Energy Asia Fund II (REAF II) and further strengthened its contribution to the build-out of renewable energy in developing Asian countries.


​Maria Håkansson named new CEO of Swedfund

Press Releases   •   Dec 06, 2017 14:35 GMT

Swedfund’s Board has appointed Maria Håkansson as the new CEO. Maria Håkansson joins Swedfund from Ericsson, where she was Vice President Internet of Things (IoT). Maria Håkansson has held a number of senior roles at Ericsson.

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Swedwatch report highlights important issues

News   •   Nov 08, 2017 05:29 GMT

Swedwatch has presented a research report around the human rights impact from Swedfund’s investment in Addax Bioenergy during the investment period and in connection with the exit in 2015.

Gerth Svensson, acting CEO of Swedfund, comments:

”Swedfund’s objective is to combat poverty through investing in sustainable businesses in the poorest countries in the world. We are continuously improving our operations, and we value the research made by Swedwatch, highlighting important issues. This is a clear example of a very challenging and complex situation, where our human rights efforts could have been stronger in some areas. We have in our strategic process identified human rights processes in connection with investments and exits as an area for improvement going forward.”

Swedfund entered into a minority holding (8%) in Addax Bioenergy, producer of bio-ethanol, in 2011. The project had the prerequisites for becoming a sustainable business, creating employment and contributing to reduction of poverty in Sierra Leone, one of the poorest countries in the world. However, the project did not develop according to plan, partly due to the dramatic change of the European price of bio-ethanol and the outbreak of Ebola, which led to production halts during a longer period. In connection with further capital injections, Swedfund’s holding was reduced to 1%, seriously limiting our possibilities of meaningful impact with regards to our three fundamental pillars, impact on society, sustainability and financial viability. Consequently, Swedfund transferred the holding to the main shareholder at that time, AOG. Later, the business was acquired by Sunbird Bioenergy, and today employs around 2,500 individuals according to the Swedwatch report.

Human rights is one focus-area for Swedfund. In order to further develop Swedfund’s Human Rights work and to ensure that Swedfund complies with the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and Sweden’s National Plan for Human Rights, Swedfund performed a gap analysis in 2016 of our human rights processes. The objective was to support Swedfund in the evaluation and management of human rights risks and consequences in connection to new and existing investments and exits. We identified strengths, deficiencies and areas for improvement. In line with this, Swedfund has offered a partly-financed study covering aspects of human rights and development impact in Sierra Leone to the new owners of Addax Bioenergy, Sunbird Bioenergy, in order to transfer valuable knowledge and experiences. Further, Swedfund intends to further develop the dialogue with civil society and development actors to improve the overarching co-operation in connection with exits having human rights impacts. 

​Swedwatch has presented a research report around the human rights impact from Swedfund’s investment in Addax Bioenergy during the investment period and in connection with the exit in 2015. Gerth Svensson, acting CEO of Swedfund, comments.

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Great potential for job creation in the private sector and manufacturing industry

News   •   Nov 02, 2017 09:15 GMT

We have focused our efforts in the sectors deemed best able to achieve development, which is in line with our mission. Where we have the greatest opportunity to generate benefits depends on a number of factors, such as experience in the sector and where we can best achieve results in equality, the environment and the creation of jobs.


Sustainable energy - a prioritised sector

News   •   Oct 11, 2017 11:18 GMT

​Sustainable energy for all is an explicit goal in Agenda 2030. It is also a prioritised sector for Swedfund’s investments. Electrification drives development, and is essential for jobcreation and combating poverty.

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About Swedfund

Reducing poverty through sustainable business

Swedfund is the Swedish government’s Development Finance Institution, contributing through sustainable investment to economic and environmental development as well as a positive impact to society in the world poorest countries.


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