Powerful signals
G7 Summit

Powerful signals

The Accelerated Partnership for Renewables in Africa sends a clear message to the world: Africa is committed to playing a pivotal role in the global energy transition – and the G7’s involvement could be transformative

The global trajectory of the energy landscape is undoubtedly heading towards a renewables-based energy system. With the historic decision to triple renewable power by 2030 at the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Dubai in December 2023, this imminent shift is now accelerating at an unprecedented pace.

By targeting a five-fold increase in Africa’s renewable energy capacity by 2030, the Nairobi Declaration – adopted at the inaugural Africa Climate Summit last year – sent a clear signal to the world: Africa is committed to assume a pivotal role in the global transition to renewable energy.

This vision for Africa is firmly rooted in the vast human and natural resources of the world’s youngest continent. It also presents a pathway for African countries to pursue economic development and environmental sustainability in tandem, without compromise. 

Yet, as the renewable energy sector accelerates its rapid growth, Africa is still being left behind. In fact, only 2% of global investments in renewable energy in the past two decades were made on the continent.

With Italy’s G7 presidency clearly underscoring that African development is a priority for discussions at the Apulia Summit, a pivotal opportunity arises for the Global North to support Africa’s clean energy agenda, which sits at the nexus of addressing the continent’s pressing social, economic and environmental challenges.

The Accelerated Partnership for Renewables in Africa, launched by President William Samoei Ruto of Kenya ahead of COP28, aims to bring this ambitious vision to life. 

A unique platform

As an international alliance led by African countries, APRA offers a unique collaborative platform tailored to African needs and capabilities. It also bridges the cooperation gap between the Global North and South, a critical priority for tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

The partnership promotes a holistic approach that mobilises action and commitments from public and private entities and coordinates international efforts for meaningful, systemic change on the continent. At present, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe are APRA members, with Germany, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates and the United States supporting the partnership and IRENA fulfilling the secretariat role. 

Plans are under way for APRA to broaden its reach, with its membership expected to expand in the coming months and years, to engage more countries with high ambition on renewable energy and green industrialisation in Africa. 

The G7’s role in this pivotal moment can be transformative. By joining APRA and endorsing its visionary approach, all the G7 members can amplify the impact of this partnership and promote its alignment with G7 priorities. This partnership can also offer a regular dialogue mechanism between G7 and APRA members to exchange ideas and expand cooperation.

Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa face some of the highest costs of finance in the world, demonstrating the need for further international collaboration, including the engagement of multilateral development banks and an increased role for public finance. Through APRA, G7 members can help create an investment-friendly environment in Africa, bolstering confidence among private companies and financial institutions looking to collaborate with APRA countries.

APRA also leverages African resources in support of global supply chain diversification efforts in ways that align with African interests. This means an approach that goes beyond resource extraction, focusing instead on promoting manufacturing within the continent to spur economic growth and create jobs, aligning with Africa’s developmental objectives. 

As the energy transition accelerates globally, the G7’s partnership with APRA presents a pivotal opportunity to ensure that Africa is not sidelined. By leveraging Africa’s vast potential to benefit from and contribute to the global energy transition, G7 members have a unique opportunity to reimagine international cooperation through a pragmatic lens rooted in mutualism and fairness.