The African Development Bank (AfDB) has welcomed the $136-million in additional donor commitments for the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa).
Commited during an event at the COP26 conference, Sefa donors reaffirmed their support for the fund’s institutional priorities.
Sefa is a multi-donor trust fund managed by the AfDB.
Denmark, Sefa’s founding partner and first donor, committed 100-million Danish kroner, or about $14-million, in fresh commitments at the conference.
Denmark’s Minister for Development and Nordic Cooperation Flemming Møller Mortensen, said energy was transformational for economic growth, job creation and strengthening climate resilience.
“The good news is that green energy – such as wind and solar – has become cheaper than fossil fuel. This opens a unique opportunity to close the energy gap for the almost 600-million people living in Africa without access to electricity today with renewable energy sources.”
German Parliamentary State Secretary Dr Maria Flachsbarth, meanwhile, said Sefa “can speed up development and contribute to the energy transition in Africa while creating universal access to energy and decarbonizing economies”.
Therefore, Germany recently increased its contribution to Sefa by another €100-million, which was first announced during the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy last September.
Additional UK and global support to Sefa is expected to assist in providing more affordable electricity for households, communities and businesses across the continent.
AfDB VP for power, energy, climate change and green growth Dr Kevin Kariuki said Sefa was “a key catalyst for the New Deal for Energy in Africa, aimed at ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy”.
Kariuki added that, with nearly 55% of the African population still lacking access to modern energy, fast population growth and ongoing economic transformation, the continent will require “a step-change in investment activity to meet targets under [the United Nations'] Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SGD7) and the Paris Agreement”.
Traditional large-scale fossil-fuel baseload technologies are no longer cost-competitive nor climate-compatible, and ensuring a rapid transition to renewable energy technologies, including distributed solutions, flexible generation and storage technologies, is critical for meeting global imperatives under the SDG7 and the Paris Agreement.