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IRENA & AUDA-NEPAD Partnership: Advancing Renewable Energy in Africa

The synergy between IRENA and AUDA-NEPAD is not just a partnership but a step towards securing the future of renewable energy in Africa. Both organizations are pooling resources to elevate Africa’s stance, ensuring the realization of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 7.

1. The Urgency of Africa’s Energy Needs

The global energy crisis highlights a pressing concern: a staggering 80% of the world’s population without electricity is nestled in Sub-Saharan Africa. Francesco La Camera, the IRENA Director-General, brought attention to this issue, emphasizing the inadequacy of the present energy infrastructure. The future of energy in Africa should not be dependent on fossil fuels alone. It must evolve into an interconnected grid, utilizing the cornucopia of renewable assets the continent possesses. Without a shift in strategy, the current systems will only deepen the energy chasm.

2. Unveiling the Strategic Roadmap for Continental Power

Nardos Bekele-Thomas, the dynamic CEO of AUDA-NEPAD, presented a crystal-clear vision through the Continental Power Systems Masterplan (CMP). The CMP, a beacon for the continent’s future, provides a roadmap, linking Africa’s quintet of power zones. This isn’t just about power; it’s about empowerment. The roadmap isn’t mere aspirations but has quantifiable objectives.

For instance, there’s a vision to surge Africa’s energy capacity from its current 266GW to a whopping 1,218GW by 2040. And numbers don’t lie: realizing such a target necessitates a financial whirlwind of approximately USD 1.29 trillion. The goal? Forging a continental electricity market worth an estimated USD 136 billion by 2040. Such initiatives underscore the need for immediate, strategic shifts in Africa’s approach to power generation and distribution.

3. Charting the Course: Advancing Cross-border Electricity Initiatives

Diversification is the key to sustainability. As African nations eye investments in cross-border power infrastructures, the landscape promises enhanced regional interconnectivity. Envision Africa’s five power epicenters morphing into a robust, unified electricity market. Since its inception in 2021, the CMP, with the backbone support of IRENA and other allies, has been the torchbearer of this vision.

It’s not just about tapping into the energy resources; it’s about strategic utilization. The CMP sheds light on the how-tos, the intricacies of harnessing vast renewable energy veins that crisscross the continent. More so, it emphasizes the critical nature of cross-border collaborations, weaving a tapestry of power strategies that are continental yet localized.

And the journey doesn’t stop there. The upcoming phase of CMP is poised to dive deeper, focusing extensively on amplifying the planning paradigms. This isn’t a linear roadmap but a multi-pronged strategy, ensuring that individual country objectives align seamlessly with the pan-African vision. All these efforts converge towards a singular point: the accelerated realization of Agenda 2063.

Conclusion and The Road Ahead:

Beyond the blueprints and the frameworks, this alliance between IRENA and AUDA-NEPAD holds a promise. It’s the promise of a brighter, energy-sufficient future, championing the cause of renewable energy in Africa. Through a symphony of knowledge-sharing, hands-on implementation of renewable energy projects, and granting unhindered access to IRENA’s pivotal financial platforms, this partnership embodies hope.

In the broader spectrum, these aren’t just projects or investments. It’s the dawn of an era where Africa doesn’t just consume energy but becomes a global standard-bearer for renewable energy strategies. With IRENA’s expertise and AUDA-NEPAD’s regional insights, Africa’s renewable energy future looks not just promising but achievable. Through these concerted efforts, the dream of affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all in Africa edges closer to reality.

Feel free to contact the Energy Transition Centre today with questions. 

·  Julius Moerder, Head of Energy Transition Centre [email protected]

·  Oneyka Ojogbo, Head of Energy Transition Centre, Nigeria & West Africa [email protected]

·  Leon van Der Merwe, Head of Energy Transition Centre, South Africa [email protected]

Author: Memoona Tawfiq