Just Energy Transition in Africa: The Role of Private Sector Confirmation Windhoek Namibia, 25/10/2022

Looking at a subject that has gained a lot of interest on the continent and even globally, a just energy transition in Africa is a subject that has gained a lot of interest on the continent and even globally. A just energy transition in Africa is an attempt to unify social, economic, political issues and the concept of climate change. Just energy transition discussions should focus on issues around job creation and job protection. Workers would be more concerned when there is a movement from fossil fuel to renewable energy.

Africa has not yet reached the point of choosing the form of energy it wants owing to accessibility issues. Also Africa cannot be talking about a transition when we are still building on our energy supply. However, the fact that climate change impacts Africa the most is a wakeup call for energy transition, and making energy to be sustainable for Africa should be a priority. The transition we seek is in three facets;

  • The government,
  • The public sector and
  • Civil society organizations.

The essence of this seminar was to emphasize the role the private sector should play in leading a just energy transition in Africa and providing a sustained renewable form of energy. We should ask ourselves what role the private sector plays in this transition process. This is of paramount importance because most renewable energy initiatives are driven by the private sector.

Worthy of note here is the fact that the same actors involved in the oil and gas industry have repositioned themselves in the renewable energy sector and it’s too risky to let these private investors to invest without a proper human development index being carried out.

It is a general assertion that private sector actors do not usually make it to discussion panels involving energy transition. The following reasons reasons account for the unwillingness to attend such meeting;

  • Over-analyzing and presenting the African continent as a high risk to potential investors.
  • The policy framework is slow and does not fit into the overall objectives of government policies.
  • Accessibility to finance is key here.
  • Also the sector of the government that the private sector should engage with usually generates conflicts.

With all these being put in perspective it is logical to clarify that;

  • The issue of governance is pivotal in a just energy transition in RE as we seek the private sector engagement.
  • Africa has the lowest default rate when it comes to investments.
  • Africans should not entrap themselves in debts because they seek finance to fund RE projects.
  • Countries depending on hydroelectricity should note that temperatures are increasing worldwide and water supply will drop. So there’s an urgent call for RE sources.
  • Finance could be made available to fund RE sources but corruption is a huge barrier.

To conclude, there is a need for the government, the private sector and CSOs to work in collaboration so that energy transition should be sustained. Technical, policy support and statistics should be put in place to avoid narratives.

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