The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in collaboration with Kenya, Denmark, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates founded a new partnership pledging to boost renewable energy in Africa.
Kenya’s President William Ruto, who is also head of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), launched the Accelerated Partnership for Renewables in Africa (APRA) at the first Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi.
At the launch event, President Ruto outlined Kenya’s ambition to achieve 100 per cent renewable power by 2030 and to fuel the green industries of the future by 2040. He said, “Our ambition is not in question – it’s how we make this ambition a reality. This journey demands a united front. As leaders across Africa, our strategies must be woven together, tailored to find African solutions to African challenges.”
He then officially launched the APRA, stating, “Today we celebrate a new beginning with the launch of the Accelerated Partnership for Renewables in Africa. Tomorrow, the work must start. I invite others who share our vision to join us and help us write a new chapter in the history of this great continent – a chapter not defined by what Africa lacks but by what Africa leads.”
“I ask IRENA, the Agency we created to accelerate the deployment of renewables worldwide, to lend its support to each of us individually, and to our collective efforts,” he also stated.
For his part, IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera said, “Although Africa has 17 per cent of the world’s population, it has only received two per cent of worldwide investment in renewable energy. This Partnership recognises a key opportunity for African nations to tap into their abundant renewable energy and mineral potential to drive green industrialisation locally while reinforcing the energy transition worldwide.”
In addition to Kenya, APRA includes Ethiopia, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe. The partnership focuses on three key areas: mobilising finance, providing technical assistance and capacity building, and engaging the private sector. Partners are inviting other countries as well as public and private sector organizations to join APRA to amplify efforts, lead ambitious climate action, and implement effective green energy strategies.
As a respected global centre of excellence, IRENA plays a leading role in accelerating the transition to the adoption of renewable energy around the world. In 2022, IRENA published its report Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Africa and its Regions which found that the energy transition – when accompanied by an appropriate policy basket – holds huge promise for Africa. Under IRENA’s 1.5°C Scenario pathway, the continent would achieve 6.4 per cent higher GDP, 3.5 per cent higher economy-wide jobs and a 25.4 per cent higher welfare index than that realised under current plans, on average up to 2050.
With the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 set to take place in the UAE later this year, partnerships like APRA will play a crucial role in supporting African countries in achieving their development and climate goals.