The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed a deal to jointly promote low-carbon energy projects in Africa. A declaration of intent was signed between the two parties which will see them co-organising renewable energy investment forums in the country and also collaborating on AfDB’s annual flagship Africa Investment Forum Event. The partnership will also aim to enhance the role of renewable energy in Africa’s efforts in meeting the Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. AfDB went on to report that the partnership with IRENA will boost the continent’s prospects in achieving universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy in Africa by 2030.
IRENA reported that it would pursue an action-oriented agenda to ensure that all African nations realise their full renewable potential. Further, the agency is confident that pushing for the renewable energy transition will increase energy security, create jobs, advance green energy access, and help develop resilient African economies in the years to come. In April 2020, IRENA released its Global Renewables Outlook report which reported that sub-Saharan Africa could generate close to 67 per cent of its power from renewable energy sources by 2030. Further, this transition is projected to have positive welfare impacts and create up to 2 million additional green jobs in the region by 2050.
The deal is also expected to foster the collaboration of the two parties on the AfDB’s Desert to Power initiative, which is targeted at installing 10 GW of solar power by 2025 in 11 countries in Africa’s Sahel region. The growth of renewable energy in Africa, especially among smaller economies has been relatively slow. Falling costs of renewable energy infrastructure are predicted to boost the region’s renewable energy deployment. Efforts have been made to promote decentralised solar capacities in the region. For example, in December 2020, The federal government of Nigeria launched its program to install solar home systems across 5 million households in the country.