Frost & Sullivan Recognizes Rift Valley Energy (RVE) for Its Strong Competitive Strategy, Innovation and Leadership in Renewable Energy in East Africa

Through innovative strategic partnerships and faultless execution RVE harnesses the power of local energy generation and spurs regional development, through its own innovative (pre-paid) rural distribution network and associated "productive use of electricity" program

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Nov. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of the renewable energy development and distribution industry in East Africa, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Rift Valley Energy (RVE) with its 2017 East African Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award. RVE, a majority-owned subsidiary of Rift Valley Corporation, was originally founded in 2009 to satisfy the energy needs of its sister companies, but soon discovered the vast potential of renewable energy resources in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, for both electricity generation and its rural distribution. RVE develops, owns, and operates renewable energy infrastructure projects throughout Eastern and Southern Africa and - as a local corporation - understands how to address the communities' energy needs best, while also facilitating enterprise growth that will elevate the community.

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Through continued close collaboration with government stakeholders (e.g., Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Rural Energy Agency, TANESCO, EWURA, NEMC), developmental funders (e.g., the European Union, AECF, the Swedish Energy Agency), commercial funders (e.g., CRDB, AgDevCo), the local tea industry (e.g., the Mufindi Tea Company Ltd., Unilever Tea Tanzania Ltd., TATEPA), and local or international NGOs (e.g., the Tea Research Institute of Tanzania, Energy 4 Impact, Forestry Development Trust) RVE continuously develops and makes available a reliable supply of local renewable-energy industrial generation capacity, while concurrently spurring local and regional economic development through continually expanding electricity access.

"Leveraging its parent company's decades-long relationships in agriculture, RVE has a strong reputation for facilitating successful renewable energy infrastructure projects that resonate among communities and businesses," states Frost & Sullivan's Energy & Environment Director, Travis Hough. "RVE revitalizes alliances with local government and surrounding communities, while harnessing domestic and international development financing institutions to bring renewable energy projects to East Africa that would be difficult to develop without strategic partnerships and foreign direct investment."

In partnership with the UK-based non-profit organization Energy 4 Impact, RVE launched in 2017 its Productive Use of Electricity (PUE) program. During the feasibility study, 38 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from different sectors and villages in the project region were assessed and about 20 of those (such as agro/food processing and manufacturing) selected for a test-partnership with a local micro-finance institution (MFI). The MFI provides financing to the SMEs enabling enterprises to buy commercial appliances, which helps them with a cleaner and more efficient production. If this test phase proves successful, the PUE will obviously be inflated to cover several hundreds of potentially eligible SMEs in the whole project region (32 villages).  Furthermore, only 11% of SMEs are owned or run by women. Through helping women overcome technical and financial hurdles - i.e., business planning and/or access to finance - RVE expects to expand the female service sector with investments in enterprises such as hair salons, egg incubator businesses, and sewing shops. This support will raise substantially the female-owned SME presence in the community, while serving the local institutions, business community, and rural population best by overcoming electricity illiteracy.

"RVE understands how public-private partnerships can work towards the mutual benefit of stakeholders," continues Hough. "RVE empowers these local enterprises to improve their productivity and profitability."

Although a growing number of corporations value green energy options, pricing is in many instances a constraint. RVE offers an attractive price structure, slightly below TANESCO's (a Tanzania state-owned electric supply company) tariff.

"Through decentralizing distributed generation and cautiously capitalizing on the falling cost of renewable energy solutions, RVE's unique energy solution provides industrial capacity at an affordable price, welcoming more local organizations into the electricity fold," said Hough.

RVE helps bridging the large supply-demand gap for power in East Africa, making a strong and commercially sustainable investment case for international developers. By leveraging its technical expertise, extensive local network, expert team and stakeholder integration, RVE turns project opportunities into sustainable operating businesses with a huge developmental impact in the region.

RVE's faultless execution of strategy, which reflects the needs and circumstances of all stakeholders, is unparalleled. Despite the challenge of long lead times associated with developing infrastructure projects, RVE boasts far better returns than its competitors with well-structured projects that make the default rate almost negligible.

For the above reasons, RVE earns Frost & Sullivan's 2017 East African Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award.

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that leverages competitive intelligence to successfully execute a competitive strategy that results in stronger market share, competitive brand positioning, and customer satisfaction. Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.

About Rift Valley Energy

RVE is - as a renewable-energy infrastructure project development company - a majority-owned subsidiary of Rift Valley Corporation (a Zimbabwean headquartered Sub-Saharan agriculture enterprise with activities in tobacco, timber, bananas and agricultural trading).

Founded in 2009 to satisfy the energy needs of its sister companies, RVE develops, owns and operates renewable energy infrastructure projects throughout Eastern and Southern Africa.

RVE currently runs a total generation capacity of 4.6 MW in Zimbabwe and Tanzania and operates also a rural distribution network company (in Tanzania only) servicing its neighbouring rural communities under its own "Mwenga Power" brand.

In Tanzania, RVE is primarily operating in the Southern Highlands, where the company currently services more than 2,500 rural domestic customer connections across 21 villages, spread out over an area of about 1,000 square kilometres in the Mufindi district. Additionally, 26 schools, 13 health centres, 300 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and the offices of all local authorities are also currently connected to the rural network, yielding widespread developmental effects within the communities in which it operates.

Moreover, RVE supports the local tea and timber industries through the provision of either permanent or standby power supply agreements. The rural network in this district continues to grow rapidly, and by the end of 2017, it is expected to cover all 32 villages present in the area.

To further expand its business across other parts of the Southern Highlands, RVE is currently in construction of an additional 6.5 MW of hydro generation capacity, spread across four separate locations, each with their own associated rural distribution network.

The full RVE project pipeline totals approximately 150 MW and includes a mixture of hydro, wind and solar technologies at varying stages of development. By 2019, RVE expects to be supplying a total of 7,000 customer connections across the area in which it operates. Please visit also for further information or contact Mr. Franz Kottulinsky under  

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector, and the investment community. Contact us: Start the discussion.

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