As the global conversation on sustainable energy mounts up on the continent, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is putting finishing touches on its preparation to host its 2022 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank in Accra from 23 to 27 May 2022.
The theme of the meetings, “Achieving climate resilience and a just energy transition for Africa”, will focus on the continent’s ambition to harness its green energy potential and totally eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Recall, in November 2021, stakeholders from around the world gathered in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the DRC Business Forum to discuss moving Africa up the ladder in the battery, electric vehicle and renewable energy value chain and market. The African Development Bank was one of the co-hosts of the DRC Forum, as a sign of the Bank’s commitment to supporting Africa’s energy transition.
The AfDB points out that several of the projects they support are emblematic of the continent’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, even though it is only responsible for 3.8% of global emissions. A key example is The Noor Ouarzazate Complex, south-east of Marrakesh. With a capacity of 580MW spread over four power plants, the complex is one of the biggest solar parks in the world. More importantly, it supplies electricity to nearly two million Moroccans and prevents the release into the atmosphere of nearly one million tonnes of greenhouse gases every year.
In Chad, the Djermaya solar power plant will soon be under commercial operation. In Senegal 30 solar power plants are being constructed in the regions of Fatick, Kédougou, Kolda, Matam, Sédhiou, Tambacounda and Ziguinchor, with high public expectations.
In February 2022, the Board of Directors of the AfDB approved the Leveraging Energy Access Finance Framework and committed to investing up to $164 million to promote decentralised renewable energy in Ghana, Guinea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Tunisia.
At the 26th United Nations International Climate Conference (COP26), bank officials affirmed that Africa has enormous energy potential to harness. “Now is the time for African countries to find ways to guarantee a cleaner future and become a net exporter of clean energies to Europe,” said Gareth Phillips, AfDB’s manager of climate and environment finance.
Africa has, in addition to natural gas, significant quantities of other resources, including forests and minerals, arable land, and water and wind, capable of producing enough clean energy to meet the needs of its people and to industrialise, while supporting sustainable development.
The AfDB believes these resources, including the minerals and metals used in batteries such as lithium and cobalt, should be exploited to support the global energy transition and the sustainable development of Africa. At the same time, the continent should maintain carbon neutrality and ensure food security as well as water and energy security for the African people, said environmental experts during one of the AfDB side events during COP26.