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Africa set for rapid renewable energy growth - study

Africa set for rapid renewable energy growth - study
A pygmy woman and her daughter are carrying a heavy load of beans from the fields into the village

Africa does not only has the potential but also the ability to seize future economic growth through renewable energy, suggested a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Many of the African countries currently experience notable economic and demographic growth, with six of the world’s 10 fastest emerging economies and a population expected to double to 2 billion by 2050.

According to the report, access to energy is a pre-requisite of both economic and social development. Consequently, vast untapped reserves of solar and hydropower resources, along with bionergy, wind, geothermal and marine resources in some regions could help Africa sustain its economy and ensure energy security for its large number of people. These could also deliver significant benefits for equitable development, local value creation and environmental sustainability.

However, the report noted that such an unprecedented transformation will not be easy, stressing that concerted efforts among policymakers are critical to make this possible. They have to develop enabling frameworks to attract investment and facilitate market development through coherent policies and regional collaboration.

To date, African governments are gradually embracing renewable energy to catalyze sustainable growth of their economies. Several recent announcements attesting strong political commitment and long-term goals of African decision-makers are being articulated through dedicated regional and national institutions and plans.

“Africa is undergoing a transformation, and has an unparalleled opportunity to use renewable energy to promote growth and improve millions of lives across the continent,” said Adnan Z. Amin, Irena Director-General. “It’s an exciting moment, and Irena is ready to play its role in assisting Africa on its path to a renewable energy future.”

The report, Africa’s Renewable Future: The Path to Sustainable Growth, is one of the string of announcements made by Irena during the World Future Energy Summit on January 15 to 17 held at Abu Dhabi. It is in line with the organization’s effort to double the share of renewable energy worldwide by 2030. – C. Dominguez



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