The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is partnering with the African Development Bank (AfDB) in a move that see $ 10 million in funding towards supporting African countries to shift toward renewable energy (RE) infrastructure through the preparation of RE projects.
About $ 10 million will support the preparation of RE projects to be eligible for financing under the AfDB private and public sector windows.
The AfDB’s participation in this initiative was described as critical. Kurt Lonsway, the Bank’s Manager for Environment and Climate Change, stated, “The AfDB’s increasing role as a major GEF implementing agency reflects our capacity to combine these projects with our own investments, in addition to public and private financing to achieve mutually shared goals of green and inclusive growth. Through our combined efforts we will be more successful in addressing the region’s renewable energy and sustainable urban development challenges.”
The funding arrangement also includes an $8m fund to be channeled through the AfDB, which will help to provide technical assistance to boost capacity of city management in urban planning and integrated transport management.
It will establish controlled landfills, prohibiting hazardous waste management practices, backed by policy and legal frameworks that encourage sustainable chemical and waste management in Cameroon.
Statistics indicate that more than 640 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa (almost two-thirds of the population) live without electricity. As populations grow, the continent is likely to fall short of achieving universal access to energy by 2030.
Renewable energy resources could potentially cover the energy requirements of the entire continent if the right investments are made, further stimulating the region’s rapid economic and social development.
Analysts say for African countries to shift towards a more sustainable model, financing must target renewable energy infrastructure. In order for this to happen, technological, institutional, environmental, social, and financial barriers to private sector involvement in renewable energy investment on the continent must be eased.
In addition to the $10 million GEF support, other instruments such as the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), a $955 million initiative that invests in the preparation and development of renewable energy projects, also focuses on tackling financial barriers by enhancing available resources for renewable energy projects in Africa.