The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is investing US$4.5 billion to make clean energy more accessible throughout Africa, a significant step toward the Conference of the Parties (COP28) goal of tripling renewable power infrastructure worldwide by 2030.
The funding was announced by the COP28 President-Designate Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber at the first-ever African Climate Summit (ACS) in Nairobi on Tuesday.
The funds are coming from AMEA (Africa, Middle East, Asia) Power, an African renewable energy company; the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, which will be providing US$1 billion; Africa 50, an investment platform established to solve infrastructure challenges in the continent; and Etihad Credit Insurance, a UAE export credit company aiming to help facilitate the country’s transition away from an oil economy — which will be offering US$500 million of credit assurance.
Masdar will also be a significant contributor, a UAE-owned company specializing in green hydrogen that completed a US$3 billion green bond offering last month at the London Stock Exchange to fund its clean energy projects with Jaber in attendance — the company’s founding CEO and chairman.
Masdar has three major shareholders: the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the investment company Mubadala and the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (ADX: TAQA). Masdar has committed a significant sum of US$2 billion to the new initiative.
Many African people have no electricity
Jaber’s keynote address at the ACS emphasized the need for leaders throughout Africa to tailor their domestic policies and regulatory frameworks to attract long-term investments necessary for the clean energy transition.
“This multi-stakeholder partnership approach is designed to accelerate sustainable economic progress, address the challenge of climate change and stimulate low carbon growth,” said Jaber.
Over 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live without access to electricity, according to the COP28. The initiative aims to restore the financial sustainability of local African utilities and modernize energy infrastructure in the continent.
“The initiative will prioritize investments in countries across Africa with clear transition strategies, enhanced regulatory frameworks and a master plan for developing grid infrastructure that integrates supply and demand,” he added.
The COP28 says only 2 per cent of global investments in renewable energy have been allocated to Africa — representing less than 25 per cent of the US$60 billion the continent needs annually by 2030.
Addressing #ACS23, #DrSultanAlJaber announced a new initiative between the UAE & Africa that aims to unlock Africa’s clean energy potential, affirming that it is designed to work with Africa, for Africa and in sync with #COP28’s global goal of tripling renewable energy by 2030. pic.twitter.com/qqgtLuPjml
— COP28 UAE (@COP28_UAE) September 5, 2023
The new initiative will be part of the Etihad 7 development platform established by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs last year, which aims to provide 100 million people throughout Africa with electricity generated from clean energy sources by 2035.
The COP28 climate conference will be taking place in Dubai this November and December and is expected to host over 70,000 influential attendees from across the globe.