Africa can’t afford to wait for energy investment, claims Kofi Annan report

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
The report draws attention to what it calls the

Africa cannot wait for the development of electricity infrastructure and should exploit more quickly deployable solutions such as solar PV, according to a report by Kofi Annan’s Africa Progress Panel.

The report, Lights Power Action, calls for a diverse energy mix with an emphasis on immediate deployment of off-grid solar power to help the continent’s 620 million people without electricity. This should be in tandem with the improvement of grid infrastructure.

“What we are advocating is for African governments to harness every available option, in as cost-effective and technologically efficient a manner as possible, so that everyone is included and no one is left behind,” said Kofi Annan, chair of the Africa Progress Panel.

The report also talks up the use of mini-grids to help what it calls the “missing middle”, those living between rural areas targeted for micro-scale off-grid solutions and areas connected to grid infrastructure.

“Traditional approaches to extending the grid are no longer viable as the main option for African countries,” Annan said. “They will take too long and will not meet the needs of our growing economies and societies. Instead, governments and their partners need to seize the opportunity to re-imagine their energy futures.

“As our new report shows, where there is good leadership, there are excellent prospects for energy transition,” added Annan. “We know what is needed to reduce and ultimately eliminate Africa’s energy deficit. Now we must focus on implementation. The time for excuses is over. It’s time for action”.

Philanthropist Bill Gates has led calls for rapidly urbanising Africa to focus on developing its grid infrastructure. Intergovernmental efforts to boost renewable energy in Africa have tended to focus at the extreme ends of the scale. Utility-scale solar projects sprang up in a number of new markets during the last 12 months.

The Annan report drew on expertise from the World Bank, a host of think tanks, former heads of state and private sector groups including Blackstone and Lazards.

Read Next

April 14, 2021
Independent energy trader BB Energy (BBE) has set its sights on Africa’s solar and storage market by acquiring Solarcentury’s Africa-facing division for an undisclosed sum.
March 11, 2021
Open source foundation LF energy and Sony Computer Science Laboratories (Sony CSL) have launched a project to manage microgrids and automate peer-to-peer renewable energy distribution.
February 1, 2021
Hydropower plants across Africa could double their capacity if just 1% of their reservoirs are used to install floating solar projects, new research suggests.
January 14, 2021
West African off-grid solar electricity supplier raises US$38 million to expand its operations in in Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo.
January 12, 2021
The amount of non-hydro renewables such as solar in Africa is likely to remain below 10% in 2030, although there are significant regional differences.
December 9, 2020
US Gold mining group Newmont is to invest US$500 million over the next five years to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
April 28, 2021
4:00 - 4:30 PM CET
Solar Media Events
May 11, 2021