Turin, Italy — April 24th, 2024 — Today, RES4Africa hosted the side event A Sustainable, Prosperous, and Just Energy Future in Africa during the G7 Planet Week at the Gallerie d'Italia in Turin, Italy. This gathering, organized in collaboration with GSE (Gestore Servizi Energetici) and hosted by Intesa Sanpaolo, served as a pivotal platform to address crucial topics surrounding energy transformation and financing in Africa.

The side event, attended by representatives from Italian, European, and African institutions, as well as stakeholders from utilities, agencies, think tanks and industrial and investors from the private sector, facilitated discussions on scaling up sustainable electricity transformation in Africa and financing just and inclusive energy transitions. Key themes addressed during the event included the need to increase the role of renewable energy in Africa's future, the importance of infrastructure, managing the challenges of energy, water, and food, and the necessity of innovative financing mechanisms to unlock clean energy investments.   

With Africa standing at a crucial crossroads in its pursuit of sustainable socio-economic development, the event emphasized the urgency of accelerating economic growth, fostering job creation, and ensuring universal energy access. Electricity was highlighted as a fundamental enabler of modern societies, indispensable for various applications ranging from lighting and transportation to industrial processes and digital technologies. The convergence of government and private sector interests toward supporting African-led development and growth was a focal point of discussion. 

The main recommendations were : 

Address the barriers and identify the African continent’s need for deploying renewable energy. Boosting renewable electrification can drive energy access, industrialization, and development goals. Raising awareness about renewable energy benefits is crucial for a widespread, sustainable transition. 

Africa needs more investments, facing challenges in finance. Innovative strategies and partnerships are essential to mitigate risks and foster a favorable investment climate. 

Improving policy and regulations is crucial for boosting clean energy investment.  It requires political commitment, reforms, and collaboration.  

Electricity generation alone isn't enough; transmission, distribution and storage are essential too. Many African countries lack investment in upgrading outdated grids. Private sector involvement can play a determinant role through substantial infrastructure investments. 

Benefiting the continent's youth, the renewables sector could create 8 million jobs by 2050. Training, funding, and collaboration between private and public sectors are essential for scaling up projects and driving transformative change, and innovative partnerships are needed to boost investment. 

Roberto Vigotti, Secretary General of RES4Africa Foundation, stated, "The Side Event during G7 Planet Week served as a crucial platform for stakeholders to come together and chart a course towards a sustainable energy future in Africa. The discussions held today underscore the importance of collaboration and innovation in addressing the energy challenges facing the continent. As we look ahead to the G7 Summit, RES4Africa remains committed to driving meaningful change and fostering inclusive development across Africa through sustainable energy solutions." 

The overall suggestion for the event for the 2024 Group of 7 (G7) Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment, to be held in Turin from 28 to 30 April under the Italian presidency of the G7, is that its members must look at Africa as an actor in the energy sector whose increasingly primary role will not be possible to ignore.

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Evento RES4Africa - G7 Planet Week: la priorità è Accelerare l’elettrificazione sostenibile in Africa

Torino, Italia —24 Aprile, 2024 — RES4Africa ha organizzato oggi il side event A sustainable, prosperous and just energy future in Africa, tenutosi durante la G7 Planet Week, presso le Gallerie d'Italia a Torino. L’evento, organizzato in collaborazione con GSE e ospitato da Intesa Sanpaolo, è servito come piattaforma fondamentale per affrontare i temi cruciali della trasformazione energetica e dei finanziamenti in Africa. 

Il side event, a cui hanno partecipato rappresentanti di istituzioni italiane, europee e africane, nonché stakeholder di utility, agenzie, think tanks, investitori industriali e del settore privato, ha facilitato le discussioni sull’accelerazione della trasformazione sostenibile dell’elettricità in Africa e sul finanziamento di una transizione energetica inclusiva. Tra i temi chiave affrontati durante l’evento, la necessità di aumentare il ruolo delle energie rinnovabili nel futuro dell’Africa, l’importanza delle infrastrutture, la gestione delle sfide energetiche relative all’energia, acqua e cibo, e la necessità di meccanismi finanziari innovativi per sbloccare investimenti nelle energie pulite.  

Essendo l’Africa a un bivio cruciale nella sua ricerca di uno sviluppo socio-economico sostenibile, l’evento ha enfatizzato l’urgenza di accelerare la crescita economica, promuovere la creazione di posti di lavoro e garantire l’accesso universale all’energia. L’elettricità è stata evidenziata come elemento fondamentale delle società moderne, indispensabile in diverse applicazioni che vanno dall’illuminazione ai trasporti, dai processi industriali alle tecnologie digitali. La convergenza degli interessi del governo e del settore privato per il sostegno di uno sviluppo e una crescita guidati dall’Africa è stata un punto focale della discussione. 

Le principali raccomandazioni sono state: 

Affrontare le barriere e identificare le necessità del continente africano per la diffusione delle energie rinnovabili. Accelerare l’elettrificazione da fonti rinnovabili può favorire l’accesso all’energia, l’industrializzazione e lo sviluppo. La sensibilizzazione sui vantaggi delle energie rinnovabili è fondamentale per una transizione diffusa e sostenibile.

Strategie e partnership innovative sono essenziali per mitigare i rischi e promuovere un clima favorevole agli investimenti. Infatti, l’Africa ha bisogno di maggiori investimenti, ma deve affrontare sfide legate alla percezione del rischio.

Il miglioramento delle politiche e delle normative è fondamentale per aumentare gli investimenti nelle energie pulite. Richiede impegno politico, riforme e collaborazione.

La produzione di elettricità non è sufficiente da sola; anche la trasmissione, la distribuzione e lo stoccaggio sono essenziali. In molti Paesi africani mancano gli investimenti per aggiornare le reti obsolete. Il coinvolgimento del settore privato può svolgere un ruolo determinante attraverso sostanziali investimenti infrastrutturali.

Il settore delle energie rinnovabili potrebbe creare 8 milioni di posti di lavoro entro il 2050, creando un beneficio per i giovani del continente. La formazione, i finanziamenti, e la collaborazione tra settore pubblico e privato sono essenziali per promuovere progetti e cambiamenti trasformativi; i partenariati innovativi sono necessari per stimolare gli investimenti.

Roberto Vigotti, Segretario Generale di RES4Africa Foundation, ha dichiarato : "Il Side Event durante la G7 Planet Week è servito come piattaforma cruciale per riunire gli stakeholder e tracciare una rotta verso un futuro energetico sostenibile in Africa. Le discussioni tenute oggi sottolineano l’importanza della collaborazione e dell’innovazione per affrontare le sfide energetiche del continente. In attesa del Vertice del G7, RES4Africa mantiene il suo impegno nel guidare un cambiamento significativo e nel promuovere uno sviluppo inclusivo in tutta l’Africa attraverso soluzioni energetiche sostenibili." 

Il suggerimento generale per la riunione dei Ministri del Clima, dell’Energia e dell’Ambiente del Gruppo dei 7 (G7) del 2024, che si terrà a Torino dal 28 al 30 Aprile sotto la presidenza italiana del G7, è che i suoi membri devono guardare all’Africa come un attore del settore energetico di cui non sarà possibile ignorare il ruolo sempre più primario.  

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Cape Town, 11th March 2024 – RES4Africa Foundation together with Nedbank CIB and the European Investment Bank hosted a Climate Finance Forum which gathered high-level representatives from relevant climate finance actors active in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa for a dialogue on how to scale up critical climate finance in the region.

Climate finance will be critical for enabling African countries to adapt to the growing impacts of climate change and to ensure that its future development path is consistent with the goal of limiting global warming to no more than 1.5°C.

In order to meet the scale and urgency of the challenge, African countries must put in place robust institutional structures to set ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and translate them into tangible investment programs and pipelines of projects. Governments must also make concerted efforts to boost domestic resource mobilization to ensure the long-term sustainability of the necessary investments.

However, African countries will not be able to finance the scale of the investments needed without a dramatic step up in international effort and private investment and private finance can also play a much bigger role than in the past, but this will require risk mitigation at scale by DFIs.

Structured into three different sessions – (1) Financing Energy Transitions (2) Approaches to Climate Finance (3) Financing Innovation in Climate Investments – the Forum comprehensively addressed the intricate challenges of Climate Finance in sub-Saharan Africa. Discourse ranged from mitigating the risks associated with financial instruments to exploring the pivotal roles of equity and blended finance. Furthermore, emphasis was placed on the critical financing of infrastructure and technology as essential components of achieving an energy transformation. We are pleased to offer access to download the conference presentation slides for your reference.

Speakers called for greater collaboration and commitment to financing climate investments in sub-Saharan Africa, offering novel solutions and de-risking programmes to help the right financial support reach where it is needed and drive the climate resilience and electrification of the region.

"In the journey to scale up climate finance, every sustainable investment is a seed planted for our shared tomorrow. Through collaborative endeavours and unwavering commitment, we can unleash the necessary resources to drive climate resilience and sustainable electrification across Africa, ensuring a prosperous legacy for future generations" commented Roberto Vigotti, RES4Africa Foundation Secretary General.

Participants list:

- Marianna Petrosillo, Area Manager Southern Africa, RES4Africa;

- Roberto Vigotti, Secretary General, RES4Africa Foundation;

- Neil Cole, Just Energy Transition Projects Management, Office of the Presidency – South Africa;

- Cathrine Koffman, Group Executive Project Preparation, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA);

- Amith Singh, Head of Energy Finance, Nedbank CIB;

- Carmelo Cocuzza, Head of Advisory, Infrastructure & Climate Unit, European Investment Bank;

- Manuele Battisti, Country Manager Southern Africa, Enel Group;

- Evans Osano, Director of Financial Markets, FSD Africa;

- Christopher Clarke, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Inspired Evolution Investment Management;

- Paul Frankish, Investment Director and Head of Strategic Initiatives, African Infrastructure Investment Managers;

- Thomas Opperer, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for International Partnerships – European Commission;

- Pietro Loy Donà, Senior Investment Officer, Development Finance – Financial Institutions, CDP;

- Ama Thompson, Underwriter, African Trade Insurance Agency;

- Ad Dankers, RE Finance Advisor, GET-Invest;

- Benjamin Curnier, Principal Green Mini-Grids Officer, Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), African Development Bank;

- Nondu Ngidi, Business Development Manager, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)

- Erika Le Roux, Head of Power for Southern Africa, RINA;

- Ana Hajduka, Founder and CEO, Africa GreenCo;

- Patrick Stein-Kaempfe, Project Director at Hyphen & Senior Advisor at ENERTRAG;

- George Aluru, CEO, Electricity Association of Kenya;

- Zanele Mavuso Mbatha, CEO, Bambili Energy;

- Christoph Michel, Senior Financial Advisor, GIZ;

- Mohamed Amin Kammoun, Sales Engineer, Nidec ASI.

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Rome, June 16th 2023 – Yesterday, RES4Africa Foundation and the UNDP Rome Center for Climate Action and Energy Transition, joined forces to host the  high-level event  Renewable Energy Horizons for Africa, in Rome, Italy. The gathering was the occasion to officially launch RES4Africa’s 2023 Flagship Publication, Africa's Energy Future is Renewable, with the support of Enel Foundation, and was preceded by the 3rd RES4Africa's International Advisory Board Meeting.

In the face of global challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and climate change, the energy sector is undergoing vast transformation. The global energy transition is gaining momentum, with global investments in clean energy reaching record-highs. Yet renewable energy is still critically underfinanced in Africa, with only 0.6% of global renewable energy investment flowing to Africa in 2021, signaling urgent work ahead. Clean energy will be key to overcome the continent’s key energy challenges. The report and event underlined the imperative for sustainable development and the role that clean energy can play in delivering energy access, economic growth, and climate resilience. As energy system decisions are urgent, the report states it is more necessary than ever to inform decisionmaking and make the business case on renewable energy within a rapidly changing energy world.

The event brought together more than 30 prominent figures from the international renewable energy community, including representatives from international organisations, private sector entities, financial institutions, and development actors, to discuss Africa's clean energy transformation and the pivotal role of renewables in shaping the continent's future energy pathways. Arising from the publication's highlights, discussions underlined that, while global investments in renewables are gaining traction, financing is not flowing to where it most needed.  Redirecting investments and scaling up clean energy financing are vital for Africa to unlock its abundant renewable resources and achieve sustainable growth.

RES4Africa’s 2023 Flagship Publication provides a comprehensive overview of the state of play, emphasizing the cost-effectiveness of renewables, their contribution to energy security, adaptability to remote areas, and socio-economic development. Participants expressed high expectations for renewables in Africa, underlining how appropriate investments in Africa's renewable energy sector can lead to socio-economic development, job creation, and improved livelihoods. Such a path, however, cannot be pursued without overcoming investment barriers Africa’s clean energy value chains, such as grid, storage and distribution infrastructure. Strategic and innovatve partnerships will be key to deliver progress on development pathways.

This occasion also provided the backdrop for the third meeting of RES4Africa's International Advisory Board, gathering key experts to engage in a strategic and focused in-person discussion on Africa's clean energy transformation.

Finally, RES4Africa Foundation and the UNDP Rome Center reaffirmed the importance of consolidating the synergies between sectorial public and private entities, in order to efficiently boost advancements In the African renewable energy market.

"Through the launch of this year’s Flagship Publication, we embark on a renewed effort in the transformative journey towards Africa's energy future.”, commented  Roberto Vigotti, Secretary General of RES4Africa, “It is a call to action, a declaration of our collective commitment to harness the power of clean energy for Africa's progress, through the well-planned and transparent deployment of finance and know-how."

Agostino Inguscio, the representative of UNDP in Italy and the coordinator of the UNDP Rome Centre, further elaborated on the commitment of the UNDP Rome Centre towards facilitating the energy transition in Africa. “The UNDP Rome Centre is dedicated to promoting renewable energy access, with a strong focus on the African context. We are committed to mobilizing finance and supporting country-level projects that drive economic growth, innovation, and infrastructure development. By working closely with local governments and institutions, private sector, we are breaking down barriers to renewable energy diffusion” said Agostino Inguscio during his speech.

Participants list:

Salvatore Bernabei (President, RES4Africa Foundation, and Head of EnelGreen Power & Thermal Generation); Roberto Vigotti(Secretary General, RES4Africa Foundation); Agostino Inguscio (Coordinator, UNDP Rome Center) Ana Rovzar (Head of International Partnerships, RES4Africa Foundation); Amith Sanjith Singh (Head of Energy Finance, Nedbank CIB); Robert Lisinge(Chief of Section, PSDFD- Energy Infrastructure & Services, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa); Carmelo Cocuzza (Head of Advisory & Blending, European Investment Bank (EIB);  Laura Cozzi(Chief Energy Modeller, International Energy Agency (IEA)); Ignacio Perez-Arriaga (Professor and Director of Energy Training, Florence School of Regulation- FSR Energy); Nicolas Souche (Chief Investment Officer, Infrastructure, IFC - International Finance Corporation); Ahmed Baroudi (General Director, SIE - Société d'Ingénierie Energétique); Esther Wanza (Co-founder at Raynow Energy, Youth Representative at SDG7 Youth Constituency); Akil Callender (Youth Specialist, Sustainable Energy for All).

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Download the Flagship Publication

Africa is a continent in continuous transformation, with a sustained economic and population growth, a fast-paced urbanization and a young generation of talents who is leading its business revolution. This transformation requires energy and will require it even more in the next decades.
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