New initiative launched to transform Africa's energy sector

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-06 00:48:51|Editor: yan
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ADDIS ABABA, June 5 (Xinhua) -- African and European renewable energy sector leaders launched a new initiative, dubbed Renew-Africa, to boost renewable energy investments across the African continent, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) revealed on Wednesday.

"Leaders representing the African and European renewable energy sector gathered in a closed-door event for the launch of Renew-Africa, a new initiative aimed at boosting renewable energy investments in Africa," an ECA statement issued on Wednesday read.

According to the ECA, the newly launched Renew-Africa initiative "aims to be a game-changer for Africa's sustainable energy future."

Renewable energy leaders, as part of the new initiative, "are seeking to enhance cooperation in this sector and create enabling environments for renewable energy investment in Africa," the statement read.

The initiative is also expected to enhance European private investment in renewable energy market development on the continent, it was noted.

The high-level renewable energy-focused meeting mainly "underscored the need for strong joint public-private efforts through harnessing sector-wide and multi-stakeholder leadership to lay the foundation for Africa's sustainable energy transition," the ECA said.

The high-level gathering, which was hosted by RES4Africa, brought together representatives including those from the renewable energy industry, international financing institutions, academia, and think-tanks to endorse the initiative and discuss ways to multiply and scale up Africa's renewable energy investments.

RES4Africa is a network of international leaders from across the clean energy value chain to support the creation of an enabling environment for renewable energy investments and strategic partnerships.

"European renewable energy industry, academy, investors and think-tanks are in a position to offer leadership and industry field experience on what is needed to make it happen," an ECA statement quoted President of RES4Africa, Antonio Cammisecra, as saying.

"The next step is defining a roadmap to put a holistic initiative as Renew-Africa on the rails," Cammisecra added.

The high-level meeting, however, stressed that "bringing renewable energy investments in Africa to a transformative scale requires a new type of support in terms of overcoming policy and regulatory hurdles. It also aims to build capacity for ease of access to finance," the statement read.

RES4Africa, in its recent publication, had previously disclosed that Sub-Saharan African countries are "rapidly attracting attention as new renewable energy markets."

According to the network, over 600 million people still live without access to energy in Africa, representing a significant residential and productive market demand for affordable, reliable and clean energy solutions.

It also stressed that "advancing energy access in Africa is fundamental to accelerating sustainable economic development and can be achieved by the deployment of large-scale and decentralized (off-grid) renewable energy solutions."

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