In a major move to unlock Africa’s clean energy potential, COP28 President-Designate, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, has unveiled a groundbreaking finance initiative from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), pledging $4.5 billion. The announcement was made during a keynote address at the inaugural African Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.
This initiative, a collaborative effort between public, private, and development entities in the UAE, includes contributions from key institutions such as the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Etihad Credit Insurance, Masdar, and AMEA Power. Africa50, a platform established by African governments and the African Development Bank to address the continent’s infrastructure challenges, has also joined forces with the UAE’s finance initiative.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, who has been a vocal advocate for tripling global renewable energy by 2030 and enhancing finance accessibility, emphasized the need for African leaders to enhance policy and regulatory frameworks to attract long-term investments in clean and renewable energy.
He stated, ‘This initiative builds on the UAE’s track record of commercially driven, innovative blended finance solutions that can be deployed to promote the adoption of clean energy in emerging and developing nations. This multi-stakeholder partnership approach is designed to accelerate sustainable economic progress, address the challenge of climate change, and stimulate low carbon growth.’
The initiative will prioritize investments in African countries with clear transition strategies, improved regulatory frameworks, and comprehensive plans for grid infrastructure development that integrates supply and demand. Currently, over 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity, and the initiative aims to drive social and economic development by increasing access to clean energy.
This initiative falls under the Etihad 7 umbrella, a development platform launched by the UAE in 2022, with the goal of providing clean electricity to 100 million people across Africa by 2035. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and Etihad Credit Insurance is spearheading the initiative by funding initial investments to catalyze private sector involvement. ADFD has received $1 billion in financial support to address infrastructure needs and provide innovative finance solutions, while ECI is offering $500 million in credit insurance to mitigate risks and attract private capital, further advancing global sustainable development.”