Africa50, the renowned pan-African infrastructure investment platform, and the International Solar Alliance (ISA), a dynamic collaborative platform dedicated to accelerating solar energy deployment, have officially entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This landmark agreement signifies their shared commitment to promoting and financing solar projects throughout Africa. By leveraging their collective expertise, Africa50 and ISA aim to bolster the widespread adoption of solar energy, enhancing energy accessibility, security, and facilitating the global transition to sustainable power sources.
The MoU was ceremoniously signed during Africa50’s Infra for Africa Forum and General Shareholders Meeting in Lomé, Togo. This momentous event witnessed the participation of esteemed figures such as H.E. Faure Gnassingbé, the President of the Republic of Togo, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, and Tidjane Thiam, the Executive Chairman of Freedom Acquisition 1 Corp, along with other distinguished African investment leaders. Together, these influential individuals marked a significant step towards advancing solar initiatives and driving sustainable development across the African continent.
Africa50 works with African governments and project sponsors to develop bankable projects that can be financed by the private sector and invest equity in infrastructure projects. Its recent investment in this area is the 400MW Benban Solar Plants in Egypt, the largest in Africa, which is currently supplying clean power to over 1.5 million people in the country.
In addition to strengthening capacity, synergising policy change and promoting investments in solar capacity amongst its Member Countries, ISA is initiating a Solar Finance Facility to mitigate investment risk and a SolarX Startup Challenge to identify and support innovative solar projects for investment.
During his keynote address at the Infra for Africa Forum, H.E. Faure Gnassingbé, the President of the Republic of Togo, emphasized the crucial role of infrastructure in driving development across Africa. He underscored that without adequate infrastructure, progress becomes challenging to achieve. President Gnassingbé highlighted that infrastructure development lies at the core of their strategic roadmap.
Recognizing the significance of private sector participation in infrastructure, President Gnassingbé emphasized the need to foster more bankable projects. He stressed that the involvement of the private sector is indispensable for realizing Africa’s infrastructure needs. Moreover, he emphasized the importance of government engagement in attracting foreign investments. To accomplish this, he emphasized the necessity of creating a stable and transparent economic environment that is receptive to economic actors. President Gnassingbé’s remarks underscored the importance of collaboration between governments, the private sector, and international partners to drive sustainable infrastructure development in Africa.
Africa50 Chief Executive Officer Alain Ebobissé commented on the partnership saying, “Clean energy and a sustainable transition are core pillars of Africa50’s investment strategy. ISA and its network represent a wealth of knowledge and connectivity in the solar space that the African continent can benefit from. We are excited to work with ISA to identify, fund, and develop bankable solar projects in Africa which will support the continent’s transition to Net-zero.”
Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General of International Solar Alliance, noted, “Together, ISA and Africa50 embody the potential to empower millions of individuals, ushering in a new era of sustainable prosperity”. Expounding on the nuances of the collaboration, he further added, “this collaboration between ISA and Africa50 promises to power many households with clean and affordable energy necessary for progress in countries like Togo and the African continent at large. Together we hope to work on the provision of technical expertise to facilitate the development and execution of solar projects across African nations, joint mobilization of funds to co-finance solar initiatives within the region, leveraging ISA’s extensive network of Member Countries and partners, and Africa50’s access to robust capital markets. Focus will also be on raising public awareness and fortifying capacity-building endeavours for African solar power projects“.
The two organizations will also engage in mutual capacity building and seek to leverage each other’s networks to mobilize funding and raise awareness of African solar projects in European and Indian markets.