African Development Bank backs clean energy fund

The development bank has approved a ZAR 100m commitment to the Evolution One Fund, which will be focused mainly on South Africa.

The African Development  Bank has approved its first cleantech-focused investment with a ZAR 100 million (€8.7 million; $12.4 million) commitment to the Evolution One Fund.

Evolution One, which has already raised $54 million from LPs including the World Bank, is the first specialised private equity fund focusing on the development of clean energy and sustainable technologies across the south of Africa in an effort to fight climate change.

The fund is set to make equity and equity-related investments in growth-phase businesses, with the aim of achieving carbon reductions in addition to ensuring the sound environmental, social and economic performance of the investments. The sectors covered by the fund will include clean energy and energy efficiency (which should account for around half of its investments), clean manufacturing processes, air quality and emissions control, water quality and management, waste management, agribusiness and forestry, natural products, organics and natural health and real estate.

In geographic terms, between 60 and 70 percent of the fund’s investments will be in South Africa, with 25 to 40 percent devoted to other members of the Southern African Development Community.

The Evolution One Fund was launched in April last year by property entrepreneur Vincent Tchenguiz’s Consensus Business Group.