Initiative to unlock clean cooking access to 300m Africans by 2027 launched

Up to one-third of Africans lacking access to clean cooking today will be transitioned by 2027, according to the Conference of Parties (COP27)’s Africa Just and Affordable Energy Transition Initiative (AJAETI).

According to the report titled “Just Africa,” the initiative aims at transitioning 300 million people towards clean cooking out of the 970 million who do not have access to clean cooking fuels and technologies today, contributing to the SDG 7.1 target of universal access by 2030.

AJAETI was commissioned by the leadership of the COP27 presidency of the Arab republic of egypt with with support from Boston Consulting Group, Inc., the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), International Energy Agency (IEA), and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL).

568 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity, and 900 million lack access to clean cooking fuels and technologies, according to the most recent Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report 2022.

Meanwhile, Africa has a significant amount of wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal energy resource potential to meet its energy needs. Ample mineral resources are also present on the continent, which are necessary for the manufacture of electric batteries, wind turbines, and other low-carbon technologies that will support the global transition while adding to local economies.

The opportunity for an ambitious and long-lasting energy transition in Africa is provided by COP27. It’s a chance to create a fresh framework for collaboration in order to meet Agenda 2063’s energy goals and the commitment to achieve universal access by 2030, the report read.

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“Establishing a strong, broadly supported course for the just and equitable energy transition in Africa at COP27 will be crucial, as will becoming the benchmark for African nations as well as for the international partners who will be required to support this transition effort.”

According to the report, the Initiative is framed around three key elements that are necessary for countries across the continent to accelerate preparation, financing, and implementation of their energy strategies.

“First, it will maintain a collective leadership voice to promote holistic approach to energy and advocate for the needs of just and affordable energy transitions that span across different pathways as well as provide a peer mechanism that will monitor progress and enhance the objectives of the Initiative.

“Second, it will ensure the access to technical assistance, advisory support and policy advice to governments at all levels for the different stages and phases of their transitions, which include energy infrastructure development, enabling frameworks, energy market structure, energy transition plans, project facilitation, the development of local and regional supply chains, human capacity and skills enhancement, retraining of labor and SME development, and the inclusiveness of communities to promote equitable approaches.

“Also, it will facilitate access to and the transfer, application, and development of new technologies and innovative solutions to harness the potential of and the opportunities for Africa in expanding its low carbon and renewable energy capacity.

According to AJAETI initiative, the pillars of focus would include off-grid and grid -based renewable energy, energy efficiency, sectoral solutions (e.g., transport, industry etc.), entrepreneurship and technological innovation, and jobs and local value creation.

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