Impact project/investment of the year - renewables: Actis' investment in Lekela Power

Lekela Power is an independent power producer company based in the Netherlands with investments on the African continent.

As one of Africa's largest renewable energy independent power producers, with one gigawatt of fully operational assets, the firm is focused on both powering – and empowering – communities across Africa.

Lekela runs community investment programmes, including one which is working to develop the technical skills of women in Egypt through an engineering apprenticeship programme.

In 2021, the firm established 127 community investment initiatives across six communities, with over $3.8 million invested into community projects.

IMPACT awards judges noted the way the firm's investments in clean energy on the African continent had delivered high impact in 2022 by providing important carbon savings, alongside social benefits.

"The company's community investment programmes also provide meaningful benefits on job creation and gender equity," one IMPACT awards judge said.

Lekela also seeks to be an equal opportunities employer and provide safe and secure working conditions.

The firm is part of the portfolio of Actis, a UK-headquartered private equity firm and sustainable finance investor.

Partner and head of sustainability at Actis Shami Nissan said: "It's a testament to the work we have done in partnership with Lekela's management team that Lekela was rated one of the highest performing companies globally by Sustainalytics, under its ESG Risk Rating assessment process in November 2021.

"In particular, Sustainalytics noted Lekela's strong management of land use and biodiversity issues, business ethics, occupational health and safety and community relations."