Africa Energy Forum Maps Path for Energy Transition

2023’s 25th Africa energy forum (aef) commenced in Nairobi on 20th June brought together delegates, speakers, and sponsors from all over the world for highly engaging, insightful discussions around the address of key issues and trends facing the energy sector.

The convention was considered a success based on the presence of ministers from Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Comoros, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Guinea, and Comoros in a highly engaging ministerial roundtable.

One of the main agendas for discussion in the Africa energy forum revolved around the vital question of how far Africa can really go in the just energy transition. Opening up the floor for discussions, Daniel Schroth, Director, Renewable Energy, and Energy Efficiency, AFDB, shared insights on a report published in collab with IRENA about Renewable Energy Market Analysis-Africa and its Regions report.

“Africa is home to 84% of the 675 million people without electricity globally, not forgetting that 17 of the 20 countries worldwide with the highest population with no access to electricity are in Africa. Yet 11 of the 20 countries with the fastest growing access rates are also in Africa,” added Schroth.

According to Daniel Schroth, Africa’s potency in the renewable sector is vast, considering that it holds 60% of the global solar potential- almost 8,000 GW of solar generation capacity, of which barely a fraction of has been harnessed.

The President of Kenya, H.E William Ruto, taking to the stage, welcomed all the guests and shared his humbled privilege of having Kenya host the 25th aef as it opens the floor for more collaborations in Kenya as partners and global energy companies network within.

President William Ruto further expressed his conviction in positioning of Africa as the continent of the future since it has all the potential of driving green industrialization and assisting in decarbonizing the rest of the world.

The President said during the Africa energy forum that isolation is becoming costly in the era of Pan-African integration. “Regional energy cooperation is paramount; we must work together to maximize our collective potential.”

“Energy transition is a journey we must take to avoid a global climate catastrophe. The emitters face the same threat from climate change as the non-emitters, but this shouldn’t be a time for finger-pointing. Rather it is time for us to work together towards a solution to save our planet and make sure that everyone is a winner,” said President William Ruto.

africa energy forum
25th Africa Energy Forum attendees during the opening forum

The forum entailing youths as the center stage during the Africa energy forum, Youth Energy Summit, enabled the voices of the youth as well to be echoed in the forum with Noella Molefe, Chief advisor of climate change and policy $ strategy for Eskom, and Lucy Mutuku, CEO of the National Youth Caucus Kenya sharing the youth’s role and position.

Davis Chirchir, Cabinet Secretary for Energy & Petroleum, Republic of Kenya, said that it is time for Africa to seize this opportunity and open a new chapter for the energy sector in Africa. “our beautiful continent is well endowed with possession of abundant natural and green energy resources that can be used to the benefiting of all,” said CS Chirchir.

The words of the CS were further echoed by the country host Julius Migos Ogamba, Chairman of KenGen, who termed this as the most opportune time for the hosting of the Youth Energy Summit by the Africa Energy Forum.

Urging that this occurrence gives Africa a unique opportunity to voice the African solutions to African problems as it gives optimism of forging various meaningful partnerships that are vital in driving forward the sustainable development agenda.

Forum sponsor Sun Africa CEO Adam Cortese emphasized that closing the energy gap is not just a mere moral imperative, but it’s an essential opportunity for driving sustainable development and creation of sustainable development, which will, in turn, guarantee prosperity for generations to come.

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