11 July 2018, Sweetcrude, Abidjan — The African Development Bank, AfDB, has made a $12 billion investment commitment to its New Deal on Energy for Africa programme.
This came as public, private and civil society stakeholders in the energy sector converged recently on Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire, to discuss the technical, commercial, regulatory and financial issues in Africa’s fast-growing energy market.
The two-day gathering in Abidjan was the inaugural edition of the Africa Energy Market Place, AEMP.
It brought together more than 300 participants and featured case studies from five countries -Africa Energy Market Place.
Representatives from each country delivered presentations on the accomplishments, investment opportunities, challenges, and the long-term outlook for their respective energy industries.
Sub-Saharan Africa currently has 14% of the world’s population and accounts for 4% of global energy investment.
Analysts at the Bank note that several countries, including Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana and Kenya, are on track to reaching universal electricity access by 2030.
In his welcome address, AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, underscored the dire situation of Africa’s energy environment. “Africa has a lot of energy potential but potential doesn’t create anything … We cannot continue to accept Africa being referred to as the ‘dark continent’. We need to act speedily to accelerate our plans to light up and power Africa,” Adesina said.
Declaring the event open, Jacques Chevalier, the Director of Cabinet of Côte d’Ivoire’s Petrol and Renewable Energy Development Ministry, observed that energy plays a critical role in Africa’s economic transformation, particularly in improving the living conditions of Africans.
“Côte d’Ivoire is fully committed to total electrification of the country and we welcome the foresight and vision of the African Development Bank, especially with respect to the Bank’s Light Up and Power Africa initiative,” Chevalier said.