World Bank insists on investment in renewable energy in Africa
David Malpass, President of the World Bank, said renewable energy is "a fundamental foundation for security and overall improvements in growth and living standards" during his participation in the 2022 Governance Forum, organised by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
It also indicates that, although natural gas is important as a transition fuel, Africa must focus on renewable energies to grow economically, setting the example of crises such as the war in Ukraine that influence Africa's dependence on energy from other continents.
As solutions, he points out that the bet is for new investments in maintenance of hydroelectric plants and dams, in increasing energy efficiency, including air conditioning, and necessary investments in the grid to absorb renewable energies: "These various steps will be essential in Africa's transition from subsistence agriculture to productive economic activity in agriculture, services, industry and the public sectors."
According to a study published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation , Africa is the continent with the lowest level of access to energy, where only 55.7% of the population has electricity, against an average of 90% in the rest of the world.
According to the same study, more than 930 million have to use polluting fuels, such as coal, wood or gasoline, to cook, aggravating health risks, resulting in nearly 500,000 premature deaths a year.
Still, 22 African countries already use renewable energy as the main source of electricity, mainly water energy, but also solar and geothermal, and Mozambique is one of eight African countries where more than 90% of electricity is generated from clean energy.
However, many African countries advocate the exploitation of large gas reserves on the continent to develop socioeconomically in view of the crises resulting from the covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, which have increased the prices of energy, cereals and fertilizers. African countries criticise the European Union for announcing at the COP26 climate summit in 2021 the suspension of European funding for hydrocarbon projects abroad.
"The rhetoric is changing due to the war in Ukraine. The gas we have in Africa is very important to us and to the rest of the world for the energy transition," Mamadou Fall Kane, energy adviser to the President of the Republic of Senegal, said during the Forum.