Initiative launched to boost renewables in Africa
By Anders Lorenzen
An initiative spearheaded by The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), together with Kenya, Denmark, Germany and the COP28 hosts, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), seeks to boost renewable energy production in the continent of Africa.
The partnership; ‘Accelerated Partnership for Renewables in Africa (APRA)’ was launched in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, on the 4th of September during the first-ever Africa Climate Summit.
When William Ruto became president of Kenya in 2023, he pledged to address climate change and end the use of fossil fuels in Kenya’s electricity production by 2030. He underlined the commitment of the partnership: “Our ambition is not in question—it’s how we make this ambition a reality. This journey demands a united front. As leaders across Africa, our strategies must be woven together, tailored to find African solutions to African challenges”
Ruto, as well as being Kenya’s head of state, serves as the head of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC). During the launch event, he outlined the country’s ambitious renewable energy policy; to achieve 100% renewable energy in the electricity sector by 2030, as well as a pledge to fuel the green industries of the future by 2040.
Turning his attention back to APRA he added: “Today we celebrate a new beginning, and tomorrow the work must start. I invite others who share our vision to join us and help us write a new chapter in the history of this great continent—a chapter not defined by what Africa lacks but by what Africa leads.”
Adding to this, IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera said: “Although Africa has 17 per cent of the world’s population, it has only received two per cent of worldwide investment in renewable energy. This Partnership recognises a key opportunity for African nations to tap into their abundant renewable energy and mineral potential to drive green industrialisation locally while reinforcing the energy transition worldwide.”
Apart from Kenya, the other African nations who have signed up to APRA include Ethiopia, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe.
The strategy of APRA is divided into three key areas: mobilising finance, providing technical assistance and capacity building, and unlocking the private sector. To grow and accelerate this initiative APRA encourages other countries and private sector organisations to join the partnership to, amplify efforts, lead ambitious climate action, and implement effective green energy strategies.
Despite ongoing incidents of political unrest, Kenya is one of the most promising renewable energy markets in Africa. The country regularly secures international support and finance for both wind and solar projects and has several large-scale operational projects as well as a growing pipeline.