The African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed $12 billion to its New Deal on Energy for Africa programme.
Sub-Saharan Africa has 14 per cent of the world’s population and accounts for four per cent of global energy investment. Analysts at the bank note that several countries, including Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana and Kenya, are on track to reaching universal electricity access by 2030.
Public, private and civil society stakeholders, including government agencies, development partners and investors in the energy sector in a workshop at the weekend, discussed the technical, commercial, regulatory and financial issues in Africa’s fast-growing energy market.
The inaugural edition of the Africa Energy Market Place (AEMP) brought together more than 300 participants and featured case studies from five countries – Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Zambia.
Representatives from each country delivered presentations on the accomplishments, investment opportunities, challenges, and the long-term outlook for their energy industries.
AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, underscored the dire situation of Africa’s energy environment. “Africa has a lot of energy potential but potential doesn’t create anything … We cannot continue to accept Africa being referred to as the ‘dark continent’. We need to act speedily to accelerate our plans to light up and power Africa,” Adesina said.
Participants at the AEMP had insightful and thought-provoking discussions in country-focused workgroup sessions, looking at identifying quick wins in sustainable financing models, commercial and investment prospects, energy access and efficiency and regulatory reforms.
Discussions also focused on governance, risk management, beyond-the-grid and renewable energy solutions, training and capacity building.
The AEMP is an industry-wide, collaborative platform convened by the African Development Bank to address barriers to mobilizing and scaling-up private investment into the energy sector by bringing together key stakeholders in the continent’s energy sector. Specifically, it seeks to address Africa’s dismal energy and electricity production and consumption, which currently stands at 150kWh/capita.
Declaring the event open, Jacques Chevalier, the Director of Cabinet of Côte d’Ivoire’s Petrol and Renewable Energy Development Ministry observed that energy plays a critical role in Africa’s economic transformation, particularly in improving the living conditions of Africans. “Côte d’Ivoire is fully committed to total electrification of the country and we welcome the foresight and vision of the African Development Bank, especially with respect to the Bank’s Light Up and Power Africa initiative,” Chevalier said.
The issues discussed during the AEMP are based on the latest research by the Bank and on inputs received from governments, according to Amadou Hott, African Development Bank’s Vice President in charge of Power, Energy, Climate and Green Energy complex. The next AEMP meeting to review the progression of projects and investment opportunities in the sector will be on the sidelines of the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) scheduled in Johannesburg, South Africa in November 2018.