RES4Africa, IRENA, UNECA Push Actions to Maximise Socio-economic Gains for Africa

18 February 2022| Press Release


Today, the three organisations presented the joint report "Towards a prosperous and sustainable Africa: maximising the socio-economic gains of Africa’s energy transition" during the 7th EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF22)

Rome/Abu Dhabi, 18 February 2022 - Fundamental to providing reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity access to all, renewable investments at scale can contribute to supporting Africa’s sustained economic growth, strengthening local value chains and promoting the creation of local jobs. In order to deepen this topic, RES4Africa Foundation, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) developed their first joint report Towards a prosperous and sustainable Africa: maximising the socio-economic gains of Africa’s energy transition, presented today in occasion of the European Union-Africa Business Forum.

Building on the knowledge and experience of the three organisations, the study is a comprehensive analysis of the job and socioeconomic impact of clean energy investments in the African continent, combining the views and experiences of leading international institutions active in supporting development, sustainable economic transition and renewable energy development in emerging economies. The report opens with a review of the socio-economic gains of sustainable energy access in Africa, followed by an assessment and quantification of the socio-economic potential of Africa’s energy transition in line with maintaining the global temperature increase under 1.5°C. The third chapter explores the role of private sector actors in supporting the sustainable transformation of Africa’s energy systems and its socio-economic progress. The report closes with a series of recommendations at the institutional, policy, financial, and business levels to accelerate investments in clean energy technologies and maximise local value creation.

“Representing only 2% of global renewable energy capacity added in the last decade, Africa is not only missing the opportunity to ensure access to affordable, reliable, and clean energy to all, but also benefits from the wider positive socio-economic impact of renewable energy development,” said Roberto Vigotti, RES4Africa’s Secretary General. “With this joint effort, RES4Africa, IRENA and UNECA provide an overview of the future of Africa's socio-economic prosperity, identifying the opportunities that Europe and Africa have to ensure a sustainable future leaving no one behind.”

“Africa has a lot to offer to and benefit from the global energy transition as laid out by IRENA's 1.5°C Scenario. With tremendous potential of renewables and human resources, Africa’s shift to clean, modern energy is set to achieve substantial gains in GDP, employment, and human welfare. IRENA is ready to stand with Africa to put actions in motion by facilitating stronger international cooperation to mobilise political and financial support,” added Francesco La Camera, IRENA Director-General.

United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the ECA, Vera Songwe, stated that “Our energy transition goals in African must be aligned with the development aspirations of member States. We must ensure investment in infrastructure that allows for manufacturing and value creation in green energy technologies, while availing de-risking instruments to member States to mitigate the cost of investment in energy projects.”  

Download the full report