AFRICA: UN plan to accelerate access to clean energy by 2025

01 06 2022 | 09:48Jean Marie Takouleu

The United Nations (UN) has announced a new plan to accelerate the transition to renewable energy in the least developed countries, particularly in Africa. The organization intends to catalyze the mobilization of 600 billion dollars for electrification and access to clean cooking by 2025.

A new initiative is being launched globally to facilitate access to electricity through renewable solutions and clean cooking. It is the new Energy Compact Action Network recently launched by the United Nations (UN). This initiative aims to accelerate access to electricity from renewable sources and clean cooking by 2025. This short deadline reflects the delay in achieving the development goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 7, which calls for universal access to sustainable energy by 2030.

In Africa alone, 550 million people still do not have access to electricity according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). At the same time, more than 900 million sub-Saharan Africans do not yet have access to clean cooking according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The UN Action Network thus aims to connect governments seeking support for their clean energy goals with governments and companies that have already pledged financing.

A $600 billion investment

The network brings together 200 governments, businesses and other civil society partners who have pledged to mobilize $600 billion to accelerate access to electricity worldwide. And on that basis, the UN wants to facilitate access to electricity for 500 million people, as well as the distribution of clean cooking kits to one billion people worldwide.

“By creating opportunities for collaboration, the Network will turn the billions of dollars of funding and investment committed to the Energy Pacts into on-the-ground action for the sustainable energy future we urgently need,” says Damilola Ogunbiyi, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and Co-Chair of UN-Energy.

The beginning of the plan in Nigeria

The network will begin its actions in Nigeria and Chile (in Latin America), before expanding to other countries. Nigeria is the most populous country on the African continent, with an estimated population of 206 million, and with an electricity access rate of only 34% in rural areas, according to Power Africa. In this West African country, the new Energy Compact action network is supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), SEforALL and solar mini-grid provider Husk Power Systems.

These players want to support Nigeria’s energy policy, which aims to provide access to electricity to 25 million people by 2023 by leveraging solar home systems and mini-grids to power five million homes, schools, hospitals and other public services. According to the UN, the initiative will also create some 250,000 new jobs in Nigeria.