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Africa Day 2023: climate activists call for removal of barriers to renewable energy  

The report identified the need for strong and steady promotion of renewable energy in the targeted countries by raising awareness of its benefits and opportunities

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The report found that per capita investment in renewables remains low in sub-Saharan Africa, reaching $125 per person by 2030, which is eight times less than in developed countries where investment is close to $1,000 per person.
The report found that per capita investment in renewables remains low in sub-Saharan Africa, reaching $125 per person by 2030, which is eight times less than in developed countries where investment is close to $1,000 per person.

New research findings show that lack of awareness, limited technical competence, limited investment, lack of tax incentives, lack of local manufacturing and assembly plants and insufficient policy and regulatory frameworks are the leading obstacles to the adoption of renewable energy in Africa.

The new research, which was published by 350Africa.org on May 25 to coincide with Africa Day celebrations, reflects on the barriers of renewable energy and climate change policies in parts of West Africa. 350.org is a global grassroots green energy advocacy nonprofit.

The research, which focused on the state of renewable energy in Benin, Togo, Ghana and Nigeria, highlights potential areas of intervention to support the adoption of renewable energy and foster a just transition to renewable energy on the continent.

The report identified the need for strong and steady promotion of renewable energy in the targeted countries by raising awareness of its benefits and opportunities, removal of financial barriers, implementation of enabling policies, encouraging innovation and research, as well as upskilling of workers.

The report was launched as civil society organisations (CSOs) and grassroots groups under the Afrika Vuka network held actions across the continent to highlight the role of renewable energy as a solution to the region’s energy and climate crises.

The report identified the need for strong and steady promotion of renewable energy in the targeted countries by raising awareness of its benefits and opportunities
The report identified the need for strong and steady promotion of renewable energy in the targeted countries by raising awareness of its benefits and opportunities

“We need safe, reliable and sustainable energy systems to drive our economies. Continued dependence on polluting fossil fuels is not an option for us, as it has resulted in a climate crisis that is devastating communities. Just last year, Nigeria suffered flooding that led to the loss of hundreds of lives and displacement of an estimated 1.5 million others,” said Michael Terungwa, a Nigerian climate activist and founder of Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem (GIFSEP), which is based in Nigeria.

The CSOs underscored the need to address the barriers to the build out of community-centered renewable energy systems and the phasing out of fossil fuels to avert the worsening climate change impacts, especially considering that the continent already suffers disproportionately from these impacts.

“We are counting on the political will of our new leadership to pave the way for the much needed just transition in Nigeria by being intentional in implementing relevant policies that create a conducive environment for the adoption of renewable energy,” Mr Terungwa added.

Landry Ninteretse, the regional director of 350Africa.org, said that while the Africa is sadly on the frontlines of the climate crisis that it has done little to cause, the continent is also fortunate to have access to some of the solutions.

“Africa’s wealth of renewable energy potential presents a great opportunity for the continent to not only address her own energy needs, but also potentially lead the global energy transition.

“What is required are concerted efforts by governments and other stakeholders to address the barriers to renewable energy – starting with finance and policy -by creating an enabling regulatory environment for its adoption, accelerating the shift away from polluting fossil fuels, while investing consistently in powering up community-centered renewable energy solutions that are absolutely critical to ensuring that we avert catastrophic climate impacts and secure a liveable future for us all,” he said.

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