Our Approach

“There is no dignity in poverty, and even less dignity in dependency.”

— Dr. Zakes Mda

Our goal is to provide access to improved household energy products and services to low-income communities throughout Senegal. To achieve this, we focus on providing access to suitable technologies and finance through two distinct but inter-linked initiatives: Access to Energy and Access to Finance.

Our Approach

At SEM Fund, we work closely with communities to identify opportunities to reduce the cost to meet basic energy needs.

We focus on market-based solutions that tackle the poverty tax in Africa. SEM’s activities are held to its AAA standards.

  • Appropriate in terms of effectiveness to reduce negative health and environmental impacts
  • Acceptable according to local customs and practices
  • Affordable to low-income households

Our programs are designed to embody long lasting change that is supported and carried out by those who matter the most: members of the communities we work with and for. To do this we work alongside government, women’s groups, and community–based organizations, inter-governmental organization and businesses.

Our Work

Our goal is to provide appropriate, acceptable and affordable technologies that meet basic energy needs without compromising the health or the environment of low-income communities in Africa. Through a holistic approach to energy access, we harness market-based solutions ranging from micro-credits to clean cooking stoves to generate entrepreneurial opportunities, social progress and ecological sustainability in Senegal.

Access to Finance

Our innovative microcredit model is designed to enable groups and individuals to improve their economic situation by making available the upfront funding required for households to access improved technologies that improve their well-being.

Households are able to borrow funds to purchase eco-friendly products and services such as efficient cook-stoves, EcoSacs, solar lighting, etc. The products and services that SEM offers will immediately improve their livelihoods by lowering their exposure to indoor air pollution and decreasing their household energy budget.

We provide micro-entrepreneurs with not just funds, but also training and support. These entrepreneurs are able to then purchase eco-friendly products that they can sell in their respective communities. This removes two major access barriers as it enables distribution of eco-products in the most remote and poor areas of Senegal and provides the appropriate financing mechanisms for end-users to purchase these necessary technologies.

Access to Energy

At SEM we understand that no development is possible without access to energy, whether it is for cooking, lighting or income generating activities. Hence, we work to make sure households have access to energy sources that meet their needs.

Cooking should not be a threat to families’ health, household economics or environment. SEM’s pioneer programme in energy access aims to replace 30,000 charcoal stoves with more efficient and environmentally friendly stoves in households in urban and peri-urban areas throughout Senegal. By joining the programme, households will not only better their health and reduce environmental degradation, they will also significantly reduce their daily expenditure on energy. Moreover, the programme also provides significant income generating opportunities for resellers to gain an additional source of income by selling the eco-products on commission.

We remove access barriers so poor households can purchase modern energy technologies and do away with unclean and unsafe energy products such as charcoal, kerosene lamps, short-life batteries, and candles. This is really what is going to ensure that every household in need of improving their energy situation is able to do so at an affordable price point.

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