Renewable energy investments crucial in Africa’s growth post COVID-19- UNECA, Res4AFrica say

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AFRICA – The United Nations Energy Commission for Africa (ECA) and The Renewable Energy Solutions for Africa (Res4Africa) have released a joint statement underscoring the crucial role of renewable energy investment in Africa’s growth post COVID19.

“It is essential for African governments to build back strong from the coronavirus crisis by placing investments in sustainable energy among the central recovery goals,” the ECA, Res4Africa statement read in part.

The reported further noted that it was important for African governments to link recovery investment to strengthening the foundation of future sustainable development.

The joint statement by ECA and Res4Africa was released following a study conducted in partnership with SDA Bocconi and with the support of Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and Ethiopian Women in Energy (EWiEn).

The report analyses the role of renewable energy in the post-COVID-19 phase, providing policy recommendations to sustain growth in a new sustainable equilibrium.

The report noted that Africa, like the rest of the world, has been severely affected by the spread of COVID-19 in the recent months with an estimated 5 to 29 million people being reduced back to live below the poverty line.

“In this peculiar socio-economic context, the strategic relevance of the energy sector in guaranteeing the well-being of our cities and populations becomes even clearer,” read the ECA, Res4Africa statement.

The statement also emphasised on the need to urgently equip Africa with a network of hospital facilities and health centres with secure and reliable access to electricity along with stimulating the continent’s socio-economic development.

“Access to electricity for the 600 million people in Africa who still do not have it needs to be guaranteed. In this time of uncertainty, investment in building back better is important, including in the vital area of energy transition towards renewable energies,” the joint statement noted.

Such investment in sustainable energy, according to the ECA, Res4Afric statement, will help mitigate the impact of climate change, while widening access to energy.

The statement also noted that it will be essential to build and strengthen the energy system in a clean and sustainable way, pursuing deep de-carbonisation and to prepare a more resilient socio-economic system to external shocks such as COVID-19.”

Earlier, Res4Africa and ECA webinar on “The impact of COVID-19 on Africa’s energy sector”.

The panellists agreed that access to reliable and sustainable energy is a crucial need, and is even more important today for supporting essential services during the global crisis.

They thus advocated for policy changes to support investments in sustainable and renewable energy sources to enable structural shifts towards low-carbon and more resilient power systems.

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