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IRENA and Africa50 advance African renewables

This partnership aims to enhance sustainable development and advance climate action initiatives throughout the continent. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has formed a significant partnership with Africa50, a leading pan-African infrastructure investment and asset management firm

As part of this agreement, Africa50 has committed up to US$100mn to support and co-finance renewable energy transition projects and infrastructure across Africa through IRENA’s Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) platform. This partnership aims to enhance sustainable development and advance climate action initiatives throughout the continent.

The agreement was signed on the margins of the OPEC Fund Development Forum in Vienna by IRENA director-general, Francesco La Camera and Africa50 CEO, Alain Ebobissé.

"For the first time in a decade, the most recent data show that the number of people without access to electricity has increased significantly," said La Camera. "With Sub-Saharan Africa representing the majority of those impacted, we must be diligent and committed to urgently addressing this growing issue. Renewables represent the most effective, climate-safe solution available, and this partnership with Africa50 will be pivotal in strengthening the ETAF Platform’s impact across Africa."

Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50 said, “The continent must focus on the dual goals of reducing emissions and accelerating economic development. Investing in and developing transformational renewable infrastructure is a critical step to achieving net-zero. The IRENA ETAF platform will be an important launchpad to scaling and accelerating our investments into renewable projects that will ultimately reduce the negative impact of climate change on our people and help build a more sustainable future”.

Established in 2021 with backing from the United Arab Emirates, the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) platform aims to scale up renewable energy projects that align with developing countries' Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). It seeks to enhance energy access and security for communities, promote economic growth, and foster diversification.

Africa50's recent involvement has expanded the ETAF Platform to include 14 partners, collectively pledging US$4.15bn. This growth underscores its status as a leading inclusive financing platform for transitioning to renewable energy. The partnership capitalises on IRENA's global membership to attract project proposals through the ETAF Platform and Africa50's expertise in project development and equity financing.

In September 2024, IRENA plans to co-host the Accelerated Partnership for Renewables in Africa (APRA) Investment Forum with the Kenyan government. This event aims to facilitate connections between project developers and potential financiers through a curated matchmaking program. It will showcase projects from APRA partners and other international organisations in support of APRA's development objectives.