A novel European de-risking initiative: renewAfrica
2020 Flagship Publication: Chapter 3
RES4Africa Foundation’s mission is to support the development of an enabling environment for renewable energy (RE) investments in Africa. If this can be achieved, African countries will then be able meet their local energy needs in a more sustainable way. A critical first step on this journey is comprehensively addressing a number of existing barriers that currently still discourage investors from entering African RE markets. Chapter 2 of our 2020 Flagship report looked in more detail at what these barriers and challenges were, and made the case for revisiting and going beyond the existing de-risking programs. Chapter 3 builds on this analysis, and introduces a novel European de-risking initiative: renewAfrica.
Launched in June 2019 by RES4Africa Foundation, and supported today by 26 signatories from across the European RE value chain, the renewAfrica Initiative will introduce a new one-stop-shop program that will to speed-up private sector involvement and support the buildup of greater numbers of bankable RE projects across Africa. A key strength and differentiator for renewAfrica is the vast experience that its signatories bring in developing clean technology projects in Africa. This has informed both the structure of this new institutional set-up and the aim to focus on fit-for-purpose de-risking measures.
renewAfrica will remain technology, geography and size neutral. In this way, it is hopeful that it can reduce the current fragmentation in the landscape of de-risking programs, build on a wider set of synergies, and bridge existing gaps more effectively than has been possible in the past. By adopting a cooperative approach with all domestic and international RE project stakeholders, both public and private, renewAfrica will look to deliver a holistic, multi-layered de-risking framework that is designed to meet partner countries’ and investors’ needs. The framework will be delivered through four streams of activity, each of which will consider all types of risks that might arise during a RE project lifecycle and what is needed to put real projects on the ground. Example work areas will include supporting the enhancement of policy dialogue and cooperation around energy reforms and RE benefits, delivering training measures for effective knowledge transfer, assisting with the technical preparation and execution of project development, and helping secure ad hoc financial de-risking packages.
RES4Africa Foundation strongly believes that an enhanced partnership between the EU and Africa will enable the continent to accelerate its universal clean energy access goals, deliver greater in-country impact, and achieve the hoped for socio-economic transformation. Chapter 3 of this Flagship Publication provides more detail on the proposed functioning of the renewAfrica program within the broader EU-Africa vision of sustainability. The aspiration is that this new initiative becomes one of the key pillars of a future enhanced alliance between Europe and Africa focused on sustainable development and climate action. By working together, there is a unique opportunity for both continents to grow and prosper in a way that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable in the long run.