Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Drive Renewable Energy Investments in West Africa

6 February 2024.
 Drive Renewable Energy Investments in West Africa Hosted by IRENA Coalition for Action

Recording forthcoming

The session covered the African Continental Master Plan (CMP) for electricity generation and transmission, delved into West Africa's electricity sector, and presented recommendations from the Policy Brief titled:

IRENA (2023) Scaling up renewable energy investments in West Africa # 12 p.

  • This brief, developed and published by the IRENA Coalition for Action, and co-authored by Coalition members RES4Africa Foundation and Enel Green Power, serves as a guiding document for advancing renewable energy initiatives in the region.
  • This online event will serve as a comprehensive platform for exploring West Africa's vast renewable energy potential and the pivotal role of cross-border energy trade. The agenda, featuring distinguished speakers, will shed light and foster debate on key aspects of regional energy development.
"West Africa faces the challenge of absorbing more than 10 million people entering the job market every year, against an average regional job creation of 3 million jobs annually. The energy transition is an opportunity to provide a young workforce with the necessary skills to integrate and help grow the renewable energy market, which has the potential for direct job creation." page 2

"The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that West Africa will see a consistent drop in fossil fuel-related jobs to 2030 and a parallel growth in jobs related to the energy transition, especially linked to energy efficiency, renewables, bioenergy, grids and flexibility (IRENA and AfDB, 2022)." page 2

"As of 2023, around 385 mini-grids with a combined capacity of nearly 0.03 GW were operating in the region, with 95% of them powered by solar photovoltaics (PV). The market for minigrid start-ups that provide energy access grew from USD 19 million in 2013 to USD 339 million in 2018." page 3

"For West Africa in particular, the combined investment needs between 2015 and 2030 are USD 67 billion for renewable power generation and USD 52 billion for transmission and distribution infrastructure." page 5



Recommendations to policy makers

  1. Recommendation 1: Enhance the regional dimension of renewable energy in West Africa at the policy, financial and technical levels, and draw attention to the opportunities and benefits that renewables bring to the region.
    • Ensure that research and innovation are financed and supported to enable technological improvements and to adapt renewable energy technologies to local conditions. This includes supporting the operationalisation and domestic integration of the ECOWAS Green Hydrogen Policy. To achieve this, the region must focus on developing a conducive ecosystem for green hydrogen, establishing the appropriate institutional framework, providing support for research and development (R&D), investing in capacity building and raising awareness about the potential of green hydrogen within West Africa.
  2. Recommendation 2: Co-ordinate the development of power generation with the development of
    the infrastructure network, to avoid bottlenecks and fully exploit the potential of renewable energy.
  3. Recommendation 3: Include decentralised renewable energy solutions in national strategies to maximise energy access.
    • Invest in education, training and R&D to support the creation of local markets for small-scale renewable energy technologies.
  4. Recommendation 4: Include clean cooking solutions in national strategies to enhance energy access.
  5. Recommendation 5: Adopt a clear regulatory framework and ensure its implementation. 
  6. Recommendation 6: Establish financial guarantee schemes to reduce the cost of capital, and ensure the effective use of currency risk mitigation instruments, convertibility and transferability (or establish other solutions such as partial guarantees).
  7. Recommendation 7: Build the capacity of public institutions, policy makers and technical operators to enhance the local workforce and to ensure a just and fair energy transition
    • Explore and support innovative projects (including productive uses of energy and integrated water-energy-food nexus solutions) and businesses to enhance access to energy and entrepreneurship.

Related: Renewable Energy for Sustainable Economic Development in Africa: Turning a Vision into Reality

13 February 2024. This high-level dialogue, hosted by the Netherlands, explored how accelerating renewable energy investment in Africa can also support the continent’s sustainable development goals. Drawing on the experiences of participants,. It identified relevant policy approaches, innovative business models, and coordinated actions to help realise the vision of strong industrial growth powered by renewables.


RES4Africa Foundation

Born in 2012, RES4Africa (Renewable Energy Solutions for Africa) is a Foundation that works in support of Africa’s just energy transition in order to achieve the SDG7, ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. It functions as a bridge between Europe and Africa: gathering a network of members from all over the clean energy sector from both continents and high-level international partnerships, we ensure constant dialogue between the most relevant energy stakeholders willing to mobilise investments in clean energy technologies.

Deadline 29 February 2024. RES4Africa Foundation is receiving applications for RAISEAfrica -
Renewables Accelerators for Innovative Startups and Entrepreneurs in Africa.
  • In collaboration with Enel Green Power (EGP), Energias De Portugal (EDP), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and South African Institute of Chartered Accounts Enterprise Development (SAICA ED), RES4Africa aims to empower young talents, innovators, and entrepreneurs to
    contribute to a thriving and sustainable future for Africa.
  • RAISEAfrica is a comprehensive initiative that includes both pre-acceleration and acceleration programs, specifically designed for the renewable energy sector in Africa. The initiative is set to support and scale up renewable energy-focused projects within the African startup ecosystem by providing opportunities and a platform for young innovators to voice their ideas. The focus areas include but are not limited to Productive Uses of Energy, Water-Energy-Food Nexus (*), Circular Economy, Manufacturing, and Digitalization.
  • The Pre-Accelerator is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs in the early stages of developing a business idea, while the Accelerator targets entrepreneurs seeking market validation and business expansion. Young innovators are invited to submit their concrete and creative ideas, drawing from existing experiences or ongoing projects. RAISEAfrica will choose a minimum of three businesses to receive awards in the form of services, encompassing mentoring & coaching, networking, visibility, fundraising, and various other activities.

In a testament to their commitment to addressing the challenges posed by water scarcity, unpredictable rainfall, and the impacts of climate change in the MENA region, RES4Africa Foundation (Renewable Energy Solutions for Africa) and Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) Middle East and North Africa Regional Innovation Hub (MENA RIH) collaborated on a webinar on “Productive Energy Use in Agriculture in the MENA Region.” This strategic partnership demonstrated the intricate nexus between water, energy, and food, with a particular emphasis on solar pumping and desalination technologies.

Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP)

A central partnership of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, the AEEP is the key political platform through which both continents work together on energy. The overall aim of the AEEP is to facilitate the achievement of universal access to affordable, sustainable and modern energy services in Africa, including in rural areas, as a necessity and as a pre-requisite to generating inclusive development and jobs.

The AEEP calendar gives you an insight on current events and webinars taking place on energy in Africa and Europe. The list is not exhaustive.

African continental masterplan for electricity generation and transmission

African Continental Power Systems Master Plan (CMP)
Demand for electricity in Africa is expected to more than triple by the year 2040, due to a variety of factors such as rapid industrialisation, migration to cities, rising household incomes, and effects of climate change. This will require a concerted effort to plan and coordinate power generation and transmission infrastructure on a continental scale. Besides, the creation of the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) - one of the largest electricity markets in the world, covering a population of more than 1.3 billion – requires physical interconnection of Africa’s continental energy infrastructure.

The inquiry is led by Lord Jonny Oates (Co-chair of the APPG) aims to bring the experience and narratives of African stakeholders of energy transitions to Westminster to better inform parliamentary debate, scrutiny and policy making. The inquiry is currently gathering written and oral evidence to inform the policy report complete with practical policy recommendations for UK Government which will be published Spring or Summer 2024.

The APPG and RAS have decided to make all oral evidence sessions of the inquiry open (running from November 2023- May 2024). To find out more and to register check out the RAS Events page here. The written and oral evidence received by the inquiry will inform the inquiry report complete with policy recommendations which will be submitted to HM Government for response.
  • Professor Youba Sokona- Former Vice Chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  • Dr Basani Baloyi, Climate, Energy and Infrastructure Lead, Institute for Economic Justice South Africa
  • Coffi Agossou, Deputy Regional Director for Africa, The International Labour Organisation
  • Amar Inamdar, CEO, KawiSafiVentures Kenya
  • International Energy Agency- Emma Gordon, Energy & Investment Policy Analyst & Gianluca Tonolo, Sub-Saharan Africa Statistician
  • Nasreen Al-Amin, Director and Founder, Surge Africa
  • Prof. Robert Mattes, Co-Founder, Afrobarometer
  • Boitumelo Molete, COSATU Social Development Policy Coordinator
  • Greg Murray, CEO, KOKO Networks

  • Dr. Vera Songwe – Co-chair of the High Level Panel on Finance for Climate Action
  • Teleola Oyegoke Lead, Country Carbon Market Activation – Sustainable Energy for All
  • Dr. Kevin Kariuki – Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, African Development Bank
  • Amal-Lee Amin – Managing Director and Head of Climate, Diversity and Advisory at BII
  • Mukupa Nsenduluka – Tax Justice Network Africa
  • Hubert Danso – CEO and Chairman, Africa investor (Ai) Group
  • Iskander Erzini Vernoit – Co-chair of the Climate Action Coalition (CAN) climate finance group 

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