Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), the African Climate Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, ClimateWorks Foundation, and the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) launched on Tuesday the Africa Renewable Energy  Manufacturing Initiative (AREMI) to drive investment and scale up renewable energy manufacturing capabilities in African countries.

AREMI will help drive the financial, technical, and socioeconomic investments required to advance clean energy development and transition in Africa while opening up 1.2 terawatts of energy potential, creating 14 million new jobs, and increase GDP by 6.4 percent, SEforALL said in a press statement.

The statement noted that with 60 percent of world’s best solar resources in Africa, the continent has the potential to become a global green manufacturing hub with an expected growth in solar photovoltaics (PV) to 650 gigawatts by 2050.

It said AREMI will focus on capacity building, knowledge transfer, policy dialogues, and advocacy, as well as enabling pilot projects that drive low-emission development and carbon neutrality in Africa through four key programmes:

1. Enable a best-in-class business environment and drive market demand: Partner with African government officials to accelerate and bolster their policymaking for green manufacturing through policy awareness, leadership development, and advocacy.

2. Build Africa’s green manufacturing workforce: Scale training, employment, and career development opportunities for engineers and technicians in Africa through support for technical schools, online courses, and worker exchange.

3. Attract green manufacturers to Africa: Help build granular business cases, identify optimal operating models, support tailored advocacy and policy negotiations, and scale green capacity investment and best practice partnerships to provide mature green manufacturers with better access to consulting and financing services and cultivate a robust green manufacturing ecosystem.

4. Incubate African green manufacturing projects and policies: Provide end-to-end grant support for green manufacturing projects in Africa, from planning and financing to operations and sale of projects.

AREMI will bring together governments in Africa and the Global South, as well as key decision makers across the renewable energy industry, businesses, academia, and research institutions to champion renewable energy as a key anchor for both economic growth and sustainable development goals across the continent.

In conjunction with the launch of AREMI, SEforALL released a new report – Africa Renewable Energy Manufacturing: Opportunity and Advancement – supported by the African Climate Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and ClimateWorks Foundation.

Drawing on multiple sources, including an economic analysis from McKinsey & Company, SEforALL’s analysis identifies an initial first wave of eight countries – Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia – that have medium or high feasibility to localise solar or battery storage manufacturing capacities and build the tools and incentives to favourably increase investment opportunities. The report also outlines existing barriers to finance and identifies policy areas for countries to act on to attract foreign investment.

(Writing by SA Kader; Editing by Anoop Menon)