THE UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched Team Energy, an initiative to create an informal grouping of African clean energy investors, project developers, and institutions dedicated to the fight again energy poverty. Team Energy aims at serving as a catalyst for transformative private sector investments in clean energy under the ECA’s SDG7 Initiative.
The initiative was launched at the end of the 4th Africa Business Forum of the ECA, which was opened by Kenya Presdient Uhuru Kenyatta and Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the ECA.
The forum echoed strong feelings amongst the African business community to rally around key issues of decarbonisation and clean energy in order to fight against African energy poverty. Chief among them are the need to develop single-digit local currency funding mechanisms, building capacity within the African private sector and leveraging on the opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to support real cross-border energy cooperation.
The launch of the AfCFTA should become a true enabler of the expansion of Africa’s energy industry, be it to support industrialisation and trade or to help expand local and regional value-chains. Key participants such as Benedict Okey Oramah, President of the Afreximbank, Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50 or Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani, CCO at Mixta Africa, voiced the need for investment-focused interventions to ensure an enabling environment and build competitiveness within local manufacturing industries.
‘Team Energy will become one of those transformational projects for the African energy sector, it is a great opportunity for us to work for an enabling environment, limited government and market-driven policies that work for entrepreneurs and investors and in this case, Africans investing and doing business in Africa,’ said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber during the function.
‘We must get to work and ensure African entrepreneurs invest in innovation and technology that drives down emissions intensity and positions our industry and continent as part of the global solution needed to tackle the global climate challenge and energy poverty,’ Ayuk added.