Africa50, IRENA Partner to Boost Renewable Energy Projects in Africa

$100 Million Pledged to Support Sustainable Development Across the Continent

by Adenike Adeodun

Africa50 and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have united to advance renewable energy projects across Africa. The partnership was formalized on Wednesday at the OPEC Fund Development Forum in Vienna, Austria, where IRENA director-general Francesco La Camera and Africa50 CEO Alain Ebobissé signed the agreement.

Headquartered in Casablanca, Africa50 pledged up to $100 million to support renewable energy projects via IRENA’s Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) platform. This commitment aims to bolster sustainable development and climate action across the continent.

Francesco La Camera emphasized the urgency of addressing the rising number of people without access to electricity, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. He stressed, “Renewables are the most effective, climate-safe solution. This partnership with Africa50 is crucial in strengthening the ETAF Platform’s impact across Africa.”

Alain Ebobissé highlighted the need for Africa to balance reducing emissions with accelerating economic development. He stated, “Investing in and developing transformational renewable infrastructure is vital to achieving net-zero. The IRENA ETAF platform will be pivotal in scaling our investments in renewable projects, reducing climate change impacts, and building a sustainable future.”

The ETAF platform, established in 2021 with support from the United Arab Emirates, focuses on scaling renewable energy projects that contribute to nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in developing countries. These projects aim to enhance energy access and security and promote economic growth and diversification.

With Africa50 joining the ETAF Platform, the number of partners has grown to 14, collectively pledging $4.15 billion. This highlights ETAF’s role as a major inclusive financing platform for renewable energy transitions. The partnership combines IRENA’s global membership to attract project proposals and Africa50’s expertise in project development and equity financing.

In September, IRENA will co-host the Accelerated Partnership for Renewables in Africa (APRA) Investment Forum with the Kenyan government. This forum will connect project developers with potential financiers through a curated matchmaking program, featuring projects from APRA partners and other international organizations.

IRENA, the leading intergovernmental agency for renewable energy transitions, aims for systemic change across energy sectors. Comprising 168 countries and the EU, with 15 additional countries in accession, IRENA offers knowledge, technical assistance, capacity building, project facilitation, and investment opportunities. The agency promotes international cooperation to combat climate change and foster sustainable development, energy access, security, and resilient economies.

Africa50, an infrastructure asset management group, contributes to Africa’s growth by developing and investing in viable projects. The group mobilizes public and private sector funding, aiming for strong financial returns and impactful investments.

Currently, Africa50 has 34 shareholders, including 31 African countries, the African Development Bank, the Central Bank of West African States, and Bank Al-Maghrib. This diverse shareholder base supports Africa50’s mission to drive infrastructure development and economic growth across the continent.

Source: Newsday

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