With ten years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2020s have been called the decade of delivery. As a key driver of sustainable development, access to clean, renewable energy is crucial to realizing not only the SDGs but also the core promise of the 2030 agenda to leave no one behind.

Yet at the current pace of electrification, half a billion people – primarily living in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel – will still be unserved in 2030. The urgency of the challenge and the need to obtain long-term results that truly fulfil the promise of leaving no one behind, means we must step up our efforts.

Over 150 FRES technicians are daily out in the field for installations and maintenance

As a pioneer in bringing off-grid solar energy solutions to rural Africa, Foundation Rural Energy Services (FRES) proves it can be done. Even in the most challenging areas that others avoid and are thus at greatest risk of being left behind, FRES has become a trusted supplier of solar energy to businesses, communities and households.

Central to our success is our belief in local entrepreneurship. FRES establishes commercial electricity companies under local management that gradually extend their reach from village to village and district to district. This proven growth strategy, our boots on the ground and fee-for-service offering set us apart and allow us to combine affordable premium technology with ongoing maintenance.

From a single company in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa in 1999 that recently became self- reliant, we have replicated and further developed our model in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea- Bissau and Uganda. We are currently gearing up to add new countries to our network.

However, sufficiently stepping up our efforts in this decade of delivery requires joining forces. Our boots on the ground, our offer of premium technology and track record in rural Africa make FRES a reliable partner in promoting productive use of energy and powering entrepreneurial hubs.

FRES at a glance