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Senior Technical Advisor, Renewable Energy

Joan Chahenza is a renewable energy finance and policy expert with more than a decade of private and public sector experience in on-grid and off-grid renewable energy. Her main areas of expertise are financial modeling and structuring of power generation projects, government and regulatory stakeholder management, technical advisory services for renewable energy enterprises, and contract negotiation for power purchase agreements and geothermal drilling contracts.

As acting project director and senior technical advisor for the Health Electrification and Telecommunication Alliance (HETA), Chahenza provides leadership and expertise for financing, procurement, partnership development, and the design of approaches models that drive private sector participation in electrifying health facilities across Africa. She led the launch of HETA’s first country program for Eswatini and provides essential technical expertise for other country program designs, including Nigeria and Tanzania. She guides HETA’s development of sustainable business models for renewable energy. These models address a longstanding challenge by partnering with local energy service providers to ensure ongoing maintenance of the systems, so the health system pays for energy, rather than equipment installations.

Before joining Abt, Chahenza was Director of Energy Access Financial Advisory for the Africa Minigrid Developers Association (AMDA). She led AMDA’s financial advocacy work on tariffs and the rollout of smart subsidies and guarantee products to crowd in large-scale funding to Africa’s mini-grid sector.  Notable achievements while at AMDA include mainstreaming mini-grid tariff settlement tools and methodologies with the Africa Federation of Utility Regulators. She also supported the CrossBoundary Innovation Lab team to pilot a tariff buy-down facility for mini-grid developers in Sierra Leone. As Chief Financial Analyst at KenGen, she provided business development, structuring, and contract negotiation support for two geothermal projects in Kenya. Chahenza is a Certified Expert in Climate and Renewable Energy Finance, a Certified Public Accountant, and a Certified Public Private Partnership Professional.


  • Government and regulatory stakeholder management for renewable energy
  • Technical advisory services for renewable energy enterprises
  • Financial modeling and structuring of power generation projects, including public-private partnerships for grid-tied and decentralized renewable energy
  • Contract negotiation for power purchase agreements
  • Energy policy and tariff regulation for renewable energy

Key Projects:

  • Power Africa Health Electrification and Telecommunications Alliance

Countries Served In:

  • Ethiopia, Eswatini, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania


Joan Chahenza