Earlier today, the African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org) participated in the launch of Team Energy, an initiative of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) of the United Nations, to create an informal grouping of African renewable energy investors, project developers and energy poverty reduction institutions. Under the ECA’s SDG7 program, Team Energy aims to act as a catalyst for transformative private sector investments in renewable energy.
The initiative was launched at the close of the 4th ECA Africa Business Forum, opened by H.E. The President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, and the ECA’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Vera Songwe.
In order to fight against African energy scarcity, the forum echoed strong feelings among the African business community to unite around key issues of decarbonisation and renewable energy. The need to establish single-digit local currency financing mechanisms, create capacity within the African private sector and exploit the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) opportunities to promote genuine cross-border energy cooperation is at the forefront of these efforts.
The launch of the AfCFTA should become a real enabler for the expansion of the energy industry in Africa, whether to encourage industrialization and trade or to facilitate the expansion of local and regional value chains. Key participants, such as Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah, President of Afreximbank, Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50 and Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani, CCO of Mixta Africa, expressed the need for investment-focused initiatives to ensure an enabling climate and to create competitiveness in the local manufacturing industries.
“Team Energy will become one of those transformational projects for the African energy sector, it is a great opportunity for us to work for an enabling environment, limited government and market-driven policies that work for entrepreneurs and investors and in this case, Africans investing and doing business in Africa,” declared NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber during the function. “We must get to work and ensure African entrepreneurs invest in innovation and technology that drives down emissions intensity and positions our industry and continent as part of the global solution needed to tackle the global climate challenge and energy poverty,” concluded Ayuk.
Finally, the inclusiveness and diversity of the value chain of African energy is recognized as a core component of its sustainability. The African energy industry won’t be able to create a long-lasting and sustainable industry that works for everybody without gender diversity and inclusion. If the continent’s energy industry expands, economic participation, inclusion and diversity can only enable it to prosper.