Sub-Saharan Africa consists of all nations that are located south of the Sahara Desert, which typically includes all African nations, excluding countries in North Africa. This region has strong reserves of natural resources and is the richest region on the planet in terms of mineral resources. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest electricity access levels of 31% compared to other developing regions. The major problems of the electricity sector are low consumption levels, high electricity costs, unequal access, unreliable supply, and power shortages. In order to increase access to electricity, the performance of the energy sector must be improved in areas of governance, access to finance, and increasing regional trade. It is for the purpose of increasing access to energy in this region that CSOs, government representatives and partners in the RE sector met in Kigali to discuss the impeding factors to energy access and to propose possible solutions to increase access to sustainable energy.
In the opening session, it was discussed that due to decreasing income levels Sub Saharan nations need to be supported in acquiring sustainable energy which does not come cheap. About 1.5trillion dollars from 2015 to 2050 to ensuring energy access in Africa. There is a need to understand the scale of the problem of access to energy which is a solvable problem. The demand for energy is enough to boost the transformation of the abundant available energy potential. It goes without saying that energy is the driving force of development at all levels. It was noted that by 2016, 59% of the total investments from the ADB towards the energy sector were for renewable energy. By 2019, this investment had increased to 75%. This shows the commitment of the ADB and its partners to achieving access to RE.
More often, technology financing tends to be unappropriated-oversized or undersized and the frustration is on both the developer and the financing institution. According to the ADB, the issue with finance for RE is in the bankability of the project. Otherwise, Capital can be provided almost free (cheap capital). Nations still need to do more advocacy, creating awareness and building capacity. In this regard, emphasis was laid on the need for both developers and the financing institutions to have adequate information on energy demands.
Solving the problem of finance is half-way to solving the problem of energy access in this region. However, when soliciting for funds for RE projects the following should be taken into consideration; Download Full Report