Brussels, 21 February 2022 - At the occasion of the 7th EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF) on 14-18 February 2022, ARE organised a virtual session focusing on creating jobs and empowering women and youth via renewable electrification in Africa and partook in a high-level panel covering lessons learnt and opportunities in investing in sustainable energy and energy efficiency solutions for Africa. Furthermore, ARE contributed to a business declaration with African and European renewable energy businesses calling for a platform to further coordinate and enhance joint efforts between the public and private sectors. Lastly, ARE together with representatives from the European Commission, ARE and RES4Africa Foundation participated in the launch of Team Europe One Stop Shop for Green Energy Investments, powered by the GET.invest.
As part of ARE’s Decentralised Renewable Energy (DRE) Recovery Campaign, supported by GET.invest, ARE organised the session “Creating jobs and empowering women and youth via renewable electrification in Africa” at EABF on 15 February 2022. The interactive discussion highlighted how catalytic business models can help rural communities recover better and faster from the pandemic by enabling job creation for women and youth in rural economies, with testimonials from private-sector stakeholders. Mrs. Carla Montesi, Director for Green Deal and Digital Agenda at the European Commission, gave the keynote speech at the session which drew around 200 attendees.
Michael Franz, Team Leader, GET.invest said that “Renewable energy can create so many jobs. We want women and youth to become the protagonists in this. At GET.invest, we have for example launched a new service that is dedicated exclusively to locally owned and managed companies. We have started supporting the first batch of 15 - two-thirds of them owned or managed by women.”
The massive deployment of DRE promises to deliver vast socio-economic benefits in Africa such as catalysing local economies, creating jobs, mitigating climate change, as well as boosting energy security. To achieve this, major public and private sector investments are required. The high-level panel “Energy for Industry and Productive Use: from Large to Small Enterprises” on 16 February 2022, featuring ARE, the European Commission, the African Union, the African Development Bank, RES4Africa Foundation, Siemens Energy, and SEforALL discussed the lessons learnt and the prospects for Africa to boost sustainable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
Finally, the European programme GET.invest announced on 17 February 2022 the pilot phase of the Team Europe One Stop Shop for Green Energy Investments. The new online platform is an evolution of existing services and aims to answer the need for a single access point to European support and financing instruments for clean energy solutions in sub-Saharan Africa. As such, it bundles the European contribution to the green energy transition in Africa.
Participating in the launch ceremony, David Lecoque, CEO of ARE said: “ARE is honoured to contribute to the fruitful discussions at the EU-Africa Business Forum and supports renewable energy stakeholders to ignite massive and rapid deployment of DRE across Africa. Achieving universal energy access by 2030 is possible if the public sector, private sector and civil society coordinate efforts closely. In that regard, ARE applauds the new initiative One Stop Shop for Green Energy Investments powered by GET.invest and invites governments and renewable energy companies to make use of this platform to collaborate, share knowledge, facilitate investments and ultimately help achieve sustainable electrification in Africa.”