Africa can become a powerhouse of renewable energy manufacturing

(Context, 10 Feb 2023) By developing industries to make solar PV and other components, African countries could boost trade, jobs and energy security.

Damilola Ogunbiyi is the CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (UN SRSG) for Sustainable Energy for All, a partner organisation to the UN, and Co-Chair of UN-Energy.

Africa remains the world’s least industrialised region - and energy poverty continues to limit the continent’s manufacturing capability. In the face of this, African economies are heavily reliant on imports, with most of the products they sell originating from China, India and the United States. 

Africa needs to industrialise to meet the development aspirations of its people, and to create high-quality jobs and prosperity for all. Being the most commodity-dependent region in the world, more needs to be done.

It is therefore noteworthy that the African Union’s Agenda 2063 aims to see intra-African trade grow from less than 12% in 2013 to 50% by 2045 – in line with other regions including Europe and Asia - and for Africa’s share of global trade to rise from 2% to 12%. This, coupled with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which aims to create a single market for goods and services, would see exports for all African countries increase by $40 billion-$56 billion a year by 2040. 

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Context, 10 Feb 2023: Africa can become a powerhouse of renewable energy manufacturing