Renewing Africa’s energy future

A side event, jointly organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Government of Mozambique during the Rio+20 conference highlighted the role of renewable energy in meeting the growing energy demand in Africa. The event brought together some 300 policy- and decision makers. The event also had ministerial participation from Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, the UAE and Brazil (the Rio+20 host country).

Other high-level participants include representatives of regional and international organisations.

Africa accounts for 15 per cent of the world’s population but for only 5 per cent of global primary energy use. Some 590 million people on the continent have no access to electricity. Yet the continent possesses abundant renewable energy resources that could spur sustainable economic growth and social development.

Discussions at the high-level side event centered on how renewables offer Africa an opportunity to leapfrog beyond 20th century development models based on fossil fuels. With its vast untapped potential in hydropower, solar, wind, sustainable biomass and other renewable energy resources, Africa is able to address the challenge of energy access and energy security and ensure economic growth… Read more

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