Cameroon Hosts Crucial Policy Dialogue on Scaling Up Renewable Energy

In a significant step towards fostering sustainable development and climate resilience, the African Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access (ACSEA) recently hosted a policy dialogue titled “Scaling Up Renewable Energy Access for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience in Cameroon.” The event, held under the auspices of the Cameroonian government, brought together a diverse group of stakeholders including government officials, private sector representatives, civil society members, development partners, and academic experts.

A Call to Collective Action

The event was inaugurated with opening remarks from Augustine B. Njamnshi, Executive Director of ACSEA. He emphasized the shared vision of ensuring a reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy future for Cameroon. Highlighting the importance of this dialogue, Njamnshi expressed his excitement about the potential of the discussions to foster meaningful and innovative solutions for the country’s energy challenges.

“We are here to explore the significant opportunities and pressing challenges associated with increasing the share of renewable energy in Cameroon’s energy mix,” Njamnshi stated. “This event provides a unique platform for collaborative engagement across various sectors to address the critical issues surrounding renewable energy deployment in our country.”

The Urgency of Renewable Energy

Cameroon’s ambition to become an emerging economy is tightly linked to its ability to provide a stable and affordable energy supply, essential for both economic growth and social development. Despite the country’s abundant renewable energy resources—including hydropower, solar, wind, and biomass—only 18% of the population had access to electricity as of 2013. With over 60% of the installed capacity dependent on hydropower, Cameroon remains highly vulnerable to seasonal variations and the broader impacts of climate change.

Njamnshi highlighted the government’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 32% by 2035, in line with the Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement. “Renewable energy is at the heart of this commitment, promising to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and lower the carbon intensity of our electricity sector,” he noted.

Bridging the Gap: Challenges and Opportunities

The policy dialogue aimed to address the gap between Cameroon’s renewable energy potential and the realities of its implementation. Through a series of presentations, panel discussions, and plenary debates, participants examined the current status and future potential of renewable energy in the country. They also discussed the enabling environment necessary for the development of renewable energy and explored efforts to expand decentralized energy solutions in off-grid communities.

The dialogue’s primary goal was to develop concrete actions and recommendations that would enhance the enabling environment and accelerate renewable energy development in Cameroon. “Our collective efforts here will significantly contribute to achieving a sustainable energy future,” Njamnshi affirmed.

A Path Forward

The event underscored the critical need for open, constructive, and solution-oriented discussions to leverage the diverse perspectives and expertise of the participants. The insights and outcomes of this dialogue are expected to play a crucial role in shaping policies and initiatives aimed at scaling up renewable energy access in Cameroon.

In closing, Njamnshi thanked the participants for their commitment to the cause and expressed his optimism for a fruitful and impactful dialogue. “Let us carry the momentum from today’s discussions into our respective communities, continuing to advocate for and implement sustainable adaptation strategies,” he urged. “Together, we can harness the potential of our young people and women to build a resilient Cameroon in the face of the climate crisis.”

The policy dialogue on renewable energy access marks a pivotal moment in Cameroon’s journey towards sustainable development. As the nation grapples with the dual challenges of economic growth and climate resilience, such collaborative efforts are crucial in paving the way for a greener, more sustainable future.

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