Modern, secure and affordable energy is a crucial input for mitigating poverty, securing prosperous rural livelihoods, building vibrant industries to diversify national economies, and connecting the African continent through trade and cooperation. However, to this date Africa and in particular sub-Saharan Africa, has the world’s lowest electrification rate, with an average access rate of only 40%. Large parts of rural and urban Africa remain non-electrified, and current generation capacity is often unable to meet the demand from a rapidly growing population and proliferating micro, small-scale, and medium size enterprises. Moreover, most African countries rely heavily on fossil fuels for its electricity generation and domestic energy consumption, which poses significant vulnerabilities for these countries and the continent, particularly considering rapid decarbonisation of first the electricity sector and in the longer term all sectors of society.

Hence, Africa needs to move from a monopolised fossil fuel dominated system to cleaner, affordable, and sustainable renewable energies along with energy efficiency by rapid energy transition. We strongly believe that the conditions are excellent. Africa has an abundance of diverse and largely unexploited renewable energy sources with the potential to cater to all energy needs in the long run, but also natural gas reserves that for a period may facilitate the energy transition to renewables while limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Successful energy transition will require fully mobilizing Africa’s own energy resources and potentials; bringing energy to the top of national and regional agendas; and taking approaches that put Africa directly on to innovative low-carbon energy development pathways, avoiding the fossil fuel lock-in dangers now facing most industrialized and emerging economies.

Energy for social and economic development – key goals:

  • Development of the renewable energy sector, to exploit Africa’s great potential for solar, wind, hydropower and other renewable sources, and build African capacity for developing these technologies;
  • Decarbonisation of the energy sector, to put countries firmly on a low- to zero-carbon energy trajectory as well as fulfil national commitments under the Paris Agreement;
  • New jobs in renewables;
  • Making energy poverty history;
  • Healthier and climate wise housing; and

Reorientation and expansion of municipal services.

We, at Centurion’s Energy Transition Centre follow a holistic approach and offer first-class advisory and legal services for international clients entering the African energy market. We have been present for years with our offices in key markets such as South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and Mozambique and have a grown network with local partners across the continent.

  1. Advisory

Entering emerging markets requires thorough preparation – from identifying business opportunities to financing. We are well-versed within the renewable energy sector across Africa and will support you not only identifying projects and market trends but also connecting you to local businesses, governments and other stakeholders within the sector. We advise on financing and help you securing financial support through international governments or private investors.  

  • In depth knowledge of the renewable energy market
  • Developing market entry strategies
  • Establishing partnerships with local businesses and governments
  • Financing by government institutions and private investors
  1. Legal

We guide you through every legal aspect of your market entry into the African energy market. Our multidisciplinary team provides tailored legal solutions in many African jurisdictions.

  • Corporate and Commercial
  • Regulatory and Compliance
  • Procurement
  • Employment

The starting position for international companies from the renewable energy sector to expand to Africa are excellent. Several African governments committed themselves to decarbonizing the energy system and political intentions to reform the electricity market are being pushed forward vehemently. Moreover, many international governments provide funding for domestic companies expanding to Africa but also for African SME’s operating in the renewable sector.

The immense potential for businesses in the renewable energy sector illustrates a look into South Africa: Nearly 77% of South African electricity is currently produced from coal, which in turn has resulted in continuously increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The past two decades, the process of introducing more renewables in the South African energy system has been sluggish. However, particularly poor power supply has stimulated the call for increasing the share of renewable energies in the South African energy system. South Africa is now committed to decarbonising the energy system to address climate change and political intentions to reform the electricity market are being pushed forward. This is not only leading to progressive liberalization of the electricity market and generally improved framework conditions for establishing new forms of electricity generation and distribution, as well as steadily growing presence of private-sector players in the market but is also accelerating investments in the renewable energy sector. The energy transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources like solar, wind and biomass will gradually increase their share in the South African energy system. While the South African coal industry is declining, it is estimated that by 2030, renewables such as hydro, photovoltaic (PV), wind and concentrated solar power (CSP) will constitute 31 230 MW (or 40.1%) of the total installed capacity. This represents enormous potential for the growth of alternative green industries and job creation that is related to renewable energy sources.


Oneyka Cindy Ojogbo

Deputy Managing Partner

Leon Van Der Merwe

Director, South Africa