The Small Projects Fund

The Small Projects Fund offers financial support to initiatives led by non-profit organisations in the field of decentralised renewable energy.  The Fund can enable small projects and contribute to realising project ideas located in sub-Saharan Africa that contribute to sustainable development.

The Fund is looking for concrete solutions based on an identified local need. The expected impact and likely success of the proposed solutions to overcome social, ecological and/or economic challenges in the energy sector will be analysed by an assessment committee. A specific focus is sustainability meaning benefits pursued in the framework of the project’s timeframe shall continue beyond implementation. Additional thematic priorities are on training, productive uses of energy, electrification of social infrastructure and partnerships.

The Fund prioritises electricity-based solutions from within the nine focal countries of the initiative: Ethiopia, Benin, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia.

Thank you for your interest in getting involved in the Green People’s Energy for Africa Initiative. At present the decision process of the Small Projects Fund is on hold. We therefore cannot process new proposals at the moment. We kindly ask for your patience.

How to apply?

The application process is divided into two steps:

  1. Project outlines of suitable small-scale energy projects must be submitted to the following email address:
    Based on the project outline, a BMZ steering committee decides on funding under the Small Projects Fund. The decision-making process is based on the conditions and selection criteria listed below.
  2. Applicants of project outlines that have been found eligible are then invited to prepare a full proposal. This must comply with the quality demands and funding requirements of the Small Projects Fund.

Once the contract has been signed, implementation can begin. An evaluation is planned at the end of the project.

Green people’s energy

Proposed procedure for the Small Projects Fund

The application procedure for the Small Projects Fund consists of a pre-phase with a project outline (4 pages) and a main phase with a detailed full proposal.

Project outlines are submitted by email ( and reviewed on a continuous basis. The outlines are evaluated at regular intervals and applicants then receive a rejection letter or an invitation to submit a full proposal.

Applicants and proposals must meet the following conditions and criteria.

Conditions to be met by the applicant and co-applicant

  • The applicant must have a fixed location (registered office) in the target country and have been active there in projects with a similar context for at least three years.
  • The applicant must be a legal entity with legal capacity as an organisation or institution and act for the public benefit.
  • The intended use of funds by the project must qualify as achieving a tax-privileged purpose (e.g. for the public benefit).
  • If the applicant plans to manage funds independently, an appropriate accounting system with qualified personnel must be in place. If the organisation does not have an appropriate accounting system, book-keeping may be carried out via a partnership with another appropriate organisation.
  • There must be no allegations of corruption or investigations against the applicant’s executives or management. The applicants and activities involved must not breach the United Nations’ or European Union’s sanctions regime.
  • Only complete applications will be considered.


If you have further questions, look at out FAQ:



Criteria to be met by the project

  • The project’s target region must be in sub-Saharan Africa. Projects will be supported primarily in the initiative’s focus countries (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia).
    In addition to the focus countries, projects can also be funded in countries with a GIZ country office. This includes: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Togo.
  • The project must be in the area of decentralised energy supply. Installation of plants and systems can be funded only if the use of technology is a means to an end (e.g. construction of a plant for training purposes). Cooperation is a key element of the initiative and must be integrated into the project.
  • The project must meet a local need. The local target group must be clearly defined and involved as actively as possible.
  • Goals and activities must be clearly defined and measurable.
  • The project must aim to achieve sustainable impact and results and be capable of self-sustaining beyond the funding period. Standalone feasibility studies and needs analyses cannot be financed by the Small Projects Fund.
  • Project management must be clearly defined, efficient, independent and effective.
  • The budget must be plausible and appropriate to the project’s aims.
  • Contributions from the Small Projects Fund can cover up to 80% of the total project costs and must not exceed EUR 200,000. In-kind contributions by the applicants are accepted as contributions.
  • All elements to be funded must be clearly laid out. All construction measures must be documented in detail.
  • Any funding support is contingent on the approval of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Start your project application now!

Please note that at present the decision process of the Small Projects Fund is on hold. The form for project outlines will be available here for download once the decision process resumes. Thank you for your kind patience.

Download application files

Project outlines of suitable small-scale energy projects must be submitted to the following email address: