Africa Development Bank (AfDB) is planning to invest $10 billion for the expansion of renewable energy projects in the continent, over the next five years.
Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President, who disclosed this at the virtual COP26 Roundtable on Clean Power Transition, with the theme: ‘Achieving a rapid shift to green, affordable and resilient power systems.’ said the “bank will no longer finance coal projects, but has prioritized renewables, as the mainstay of its Light Up and Power Africa strategic priority.”
This is contained in a statement issued by the bank’s Communication and External Relations official, Gershwin Wanneburg.
Adesina revealed that the bank expects to invest $10 billion in the energy sector over the next five years and has been at the forefront of transformative renewable energy projects in Africa.
“One of its flagship projects is the $20 billion Desert-to-Power program, which strives to build the largest solar zone in the world in the Sahel and to provide electricity to some 250 million people.
“As a result, the share of renewable energy in the bank’s power generation investments now stands at 80 percent,” he revealed.
“When we light up and power Africa – based on an energy mix aligned to a low carbon transition and prioritizing renewable energy sources – we will achieve a more economically prosperous Africa.
“It was held amid growing recognition that climate change remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity”, the AfBD boss stated.
Participants at the roundtable included UN Secretary General, Dr. António Guterres, COP26 President Alok Sharma, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi Di Maio, and representatives from governments, multilateral development banks, the private sector and international organisations.
Guterres said the year ahead would be critical not only in beating the COVID-19 pandemic but in meeting the climate challenge.
“Huge amounts of money have been earmarked for the COVID-19 recovery and stimulus measures. But sustainable investments are still not being prioritized,” Guterres lamented, stressing “We must invest in the future of affordable renewable energy for all people, everywhere”.
Adesina said ‘‘the bank expects to invest $10 billion in the energy sector over the next five years and has been at the forefront of transformative renewable energy projects in Africa.’’