The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Accelerating the transition to a sustainable energy future in Africa
UNOPS and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll) have signed a new partnership to help African countries advance climate action and universal access to clean energy, in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Through the Africa Energy Transition Partnership, the initiative will support governments, donors and other stakeholders to accelerate the energy transition in Africa and find sustainable ways to meet growing energy needs across the continent.
Announced on the sidelines of COP28, the partnership will deliver joint action and improved coordination by addressing issues that impede access to renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable infrastructure.
“Africa’s rapid economic expansion calls for sustainable solutions to meet growing energy needs and this is one of the core development challenges for the continent,” said UNOPS Executive Director Jorge Moreira da Silva.
UNOPS is committed to supporting Africa in its efforts to provide access to energy for all, and to ensure that the clean energy transition delivers for Africa's economic and social development.
Over 40 per cent of the population in Africa live without access to electricity, and 70 per cent without access to clean cooking fuels. Africa enjoys immense energy potential, particularly in renewable energy, yet only a fraction of this is currently being used. Against this context, the partnership represents a unique opportunity to support the region’s energy development and climate goals.
“At Sustainable Energy for All, we work with African governments to develop whole-of-economy Energy Transition and Investment Plans that help build energy systems to support economic and social development and achieve net-zero emissions,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All.
“We are excited to be deepening our relationship with UNOPS through this new partnership to deliver support to implement these plans,” she added.
Mobilizing technical and financing resources in energy projects remains a key challenge. The partnership will bring funders together with African governments and other stakeholders to develop a shared vision to ensure the right energy mix for the continent.
UNOPS will be responsible for managing the funds and providing operational and administrative support, while SEforALL will provide access to finance and technical assistance.
As an initial step, its first phase will be implemented in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya until 2028, while other African countries have been identified to be incorporated as the programme rolls out.
This partnership builds on lessons learned from the ongoing Southeast Asia Energy Transition Partnership, which since 2020 has supported Indonesia, Viet Nam and the Philippines to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable energy system.