21 April 2021


As part of the 2X Challenge, IFU and Proparco are partnering with Daystar Power in West Africa to promote gender equality. The focus is on hiring women and training them in technical and engineering roles. IFU and Proparco are also investors in Daystar with nearly USD 25 million.

Two Development Finance Institutions, Proparco and IFU, are partnering with hybrid solar power solutions provider Daystar Power to support the company in its journey towards gender equality. This is part of the 2X Challenge, which is an initiative to promote quality employment and better access to leadership opportunities for women in developing countries.

Given its strong female leadership, Daystar Power already classifies as a gender investment. Women are well represented in its senior management and board positions. Notably, the CEO for the company’s Ghana operations is a woman. With its investors, Daystar Power has committed to increasing its women hires, targeting a 40% share of women in its workforce by 2024. Daystar Power will build on its traineeship program launched in early 2020 in Nigeria to improve female students’ access to engineer positions within the company.

“We will focus on hiring women and training them in technical and engineering roles. Our goal is to get more women into West Africa’s renewables sector. We believe that diversity will bring us the competitive advantage we need when expanding from our key markets Nigeria and Ghana into Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo.”

Jasper Graf von Hardenberg, CEO and Co-Founder, Daystar Power.

Focus on diversity and inclusion

“IFU is committed to tackling challenges related to inclusion and diversity and signed up to the global 2X Challenge in 2019, which Daystar Power is now also doing. We are proud that Daystar Power has already made great progress in this area, especially in a sector that is not traditionally well represented by women and look forward to supporting them on this journey,” said Thomas Hougaard, Vice President, Sub-Saharan Africa, IFU.

“Through the 2XChallenge and their own ambitious gender-smart investing objectives, DFIs such as Proparco have fuelled a strong movement dedicated to increasing the private sector’s contribution to women empowerment. Daystar Power’s commitment is a great step forward, which we hope will inspire many other ambitious businesses acknowledging the central role women are playing in sustainable development.”

Natou Bamba-Colon, Head of Development Effectiveness, Proparco.

Members of the 2X challenge

IFU and Proparco have invested nearly USD 25 million in Daystar Power. Both investors are committed to supporting gender equality in their investments, as a driver for commercial performance, but particularly to promote women’s economic empowerment. The two are also members of the 2X Challenge that aims to advance opportunities for women through enterprise support, leadership and career progression, quality employment, and products/services that enhance women’s economic participation.

About Daystar Power

Daystar Power is a leading off-grid power service provider, offering hybrid power solutions to commercial and industrial businesses in West Africa. Daystar Power’s solutions “Solar-as-a-Service” (100% solar power) and “Power-as-a-Service” (hybrid power solutions with battery storage) provide clean and reliable power while significantly reducing clients’ overall power costs.

Daystar Power’s clients pay a flat monthly fee or a variable tariff (per kilowatt hour) for premium power services, which include a power audit and assessment of energy needs, a bespoke proposal, installation, and full operation & maintenance. Clients do not incur any capital expenditure and do not pay up-front costs. By outsourcing the management of their power systems, Daystar Power clients are able to focus more on running their core businesses.

Daystar Power counts the region’s leading industrial and commercial companies among its client base and is active in Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Senegal with a representative office in Cote d’Ivoire. Founded in 2017, by the African venture builder Sunray Ventures, Daystar has 23 MW of installed power capacity and has offset approximately 5,000 MT of CO2 to date.

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About 2X Challenge

The 2X Challenge calls for the G7 and other DFIs to join together to collectively mobilize USD 3 billion in commitments that provide women in developing markets with improved access to leadership opportunities, quality employment, finance, enterprise support and products and services that enhance economic participation and access.

Find out more at

About Proparco

Proparco has been supporting sustainable development for 40 years across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle-East. As the private sector financing arm of Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Proparco provides funding and support to companies and financial institutions and helps them control the impacts of their activity. In 2019, Proparco has committed EUR 2.5 billion of financing, focused on key development sectors: infrastructure, especially renewable energies, agribusiness, financial institutions, healthcare and education. Its interventions support private sector actors who contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by creating jobs and decent incomes, providing essential goods and services, and who contribute to poverty reduction and the fight against climate change. Africa is Proparco’s 1st region of intervention, with EUR 1,285 million granted in 2019, representing 51% of its commitments.

For more information, please visit: and @Proparco