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Africa’s renewable energy market has huge prospects, says AfDB

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Solomon Ezeme

 

The African Development Bank (AfDB), in a recent report released on Tuesday, stated that the renewable energy market in Africa is promising given the the outcome of its recent survey which revealed that many investors are likely to increase their investments in the continent, in the next 3 years.

The 2021 Annual Development Effectiveness Review (ADER) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) describes Africa as “a resilient continent recovering from the pandemic” , and recommended that the continent should make efforts to significantly step up its growth rate if it intends to achieve sustainable development for its energy sector.

The new report which provides updates about development trends in Africa, noted that there are positive prospects for the continent’s energy sector, especially the renewable energy sector.

“Despite the disruptions, the prospects of Africa’s energy sector rebounding to its prior trend are good.

“A recent survey shows that African energy market participants remain confident in the sector,
With more than a third reporting that they are very likely to increase their investments in the continent in the next three years.

“The prospects for Africa’s renewable energy market are especially strong, and the economic changes caused by Covid-19 are likely to boost the demand for renewables in the coming years,” the report read.

According to the report, Nigeria and some other African nations, including Liberia, Gambia, Botswana, Ethiopia, Rwanda and more, generally have low electricity regulatory frameworks which is impeding the growth and development of their energy sectors.

It explains that the liberalisation of the power sector in some African nations has helped in accelerating investment in generation capacity, but has failed to properly address the challenges with transmission and distribution.

“Better regulations to reduce network losses and improve affordability even as Africa’s electricity generation capacity continues to rise, access is not increasing at the same rate.

“During 2009-2018, the schemes to alleviate the hardship on consumers. The ERI therefore recommends that regulatory authorities ensure that when utility companies set prices, they regularly consider any rise in customers’ vulnerability,” the report stated.

President of the African Development Bank, Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, in the introductory part of the report, expressed optimism over the growth of the region.

He noted that the AfDB will be interested in helping Africa develop its economy and market through partnership with various African governments.

“While the pandemic is not yet over, I am optimistic about Africa’s speedy return to growth and prosperity.

“The Bank’s resolve to support the continent to realise its full potential is stronger than ever, and we look forward to working hand in hand with African countries to help them realise their goals,” Adesina said.

The report also claims that in 2020, there was improvement in Africa’s power infrastructure to support agriculture but no change in energy access for farmers, and that efficiency in the use of energy worsened overtime.

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