The “SDG7 Initiative for Africa”: Accelerating clean energy investments for access and climate ambition in Africa
Climate change is causing unprecedented variations in the frequency and magnitude ofextreme weather events: floods, droughts and heatwaves. How African countries prepare forand manage these extreme events will be fundamental to the performance of their economiesand realization of their development aspirations as embodied in various national developmentplans, the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’sAgenda 2063. Another key factor that will determine the attainment of Africa’s developmentobjectives is how the continent responds to its increasing need for access to adequate, secureand reliable energy services to industrialize, trade, provide better health and education services,reduce poverty and increase inclusion, boost economic growth and cater for population growth,a growing middle class, increasing urbanization and climate change.
To address these challenges and spur inclusive and resilient economies in Africarequires new and innovative approaches to leverage limited public resources against abackground of competing demands for resources to mobilize the needed investments,particularly from the private sector. The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) conceivedthe “SDG7 Initiative for Africa” to achieve this. The initiative is a mechanism built on threepillars - sustainability, governance and finance – to bring together countries, financiers anddevelopers of clean-energy projects to align interests and combine scale and speed to fast-trackfinancing from the private sector for deployment of clean energy in Africa. The initiativeprovides the mechanism through which the private sector can play a key role in supportingcountries to close their energy-access deficits, meet increasing energy demands and contributeto climate action and ambition through enhanced nationally determined contributions to climateaction (NDCs) in terms of the Paris Agreement. The initiative aims to crowd in financing fromthe private sector for over 10,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity capacity in Africaby 2025