The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) signed an agreement on Monday on the margins of Africa Climate Week in Nairobi to advance regional interconnections in Africa.

“Through this new partnership, IRENA and AUDA-NEPAD will work to enhance the capabilities of African countries and regional organisations through knowledge-based capacity building services, support implementation of the renewable energy projects in the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA PAP II),and facilitate access for project developers to IRENA’s Climate Investment Platform and Energy Transition Accelerator Financing platform,” IRENA said in a statement.

AUDA-NEPAD CEO Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas highlighted that, “the current business as usual trajectory falls significantly short of achieving universal electricity access by 2040, necessitating a substantial increase in investments to elevate the continent's installed capacity from 266 gigawatts (GW) to approximately 1,218GW. To realise this ambitious target, an estimated $1.29 trillion in cumulative investments will be essential, potentially culminating in the establishment of a robust continental electricity market valued at $136 billion by 2040."

"The creation of a more equitable energy system—one that leverages a diverse mix of Africa’s abundant renewable resources—is dependent upon a more interconnected, flexible and reliable power grid in the region. This partnership serves as a pivotal step towards achieving that objective," stated IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera.

The continued investments in cross-border transmission infrastructure and a deepening of electricity trade will allow African countries to accelerate their energy expansion and transition by sourcing electricity from a wide range of competitive, clean energy resources, by anchoring on the continent’s five power pools to create Africa’s Single Electricity Market, the statement added.

Since 2021, IRENA has supported AUDA-NEPAD and African stakeholders in developing the Continental Master Plan (CMP), which aims to establish a long-term, continent-wide planning process for power generation and transmission that involves all five African power pools.

The next phase of CMP will include a special focus on strengthening the planning processes and accelerating the preparation of a bankable pipeline of priority projects at both the regional and country levels.

(Writing by Sowmya Sundar; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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