The UAE is ready to help Africa with finance and technology for the continent’s energy transformation, said Mariam Almheiri, the Emirate’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment. 

The country’s experience in developing green energy and industry projects, including some of the world’s largest solar parks, puts the UAE in a strong position to contribute to Africa’s energy transition, she told African Business magazine. 

Earlier this month, the UAE pledged to invest $4.5 billion to accelerate Africa’s switch to clean energy. The funds will be provided by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Etihad Credit Insurance, and Dubai-based AMEA Power. 

“We are walking the talk, stepping up where we can, to say: this is our contribution to help Africa in their energy systems transformation,” Almheiri said.   

She confirmed that the $4.5 billion pledge came about through the UAE government working with the four institutions.   

The minister admitted that Africa is bearing the brunt of climate change despite contributing only “a very small” share of cumulative global emissions. 

Almheiri stated that ensuring that “things get fixed is vital to keep Africa intact and stop the migration routes”.   

African governments have agreed at the Nairobi summit that their focus at COP28 will be on pushing governments in the Global North to deliver on previous commitments, which include the loss and damage fund pledged at COP27. 

“They have projects ready, but they always say the availability, affordability and accessibility of finance is the biggest challenge they’re facing,” Almheiri said.   

“We’ve realised we cannot just wait,” she stated.  

“Every country has to step up and do something. And because we’re hosting the world, we took it in our own hands to say: Okay, let’s bring some of these entities together and see what we can do,” Almheiri added. 

The UAE will host the COP28 climate summit at Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023. 

(Editing by Seban Scaria