Last week, at the 2021 UK African Investment Summit, panellists said that one of the drivers towards African’s post-Covid-19 economic boom and growth recovery is renewable energy. The main theme of the panel was to keep a strong partnership between Africa and the United Kingdom. The panel discussed many things, such as developing sustainable and resilient infrastructure and British innovation and technology to advance Africa’s development. The panel members said that to achieve this investing in large-scale electrification projects is the way to go.
Louis Taylor, the UK Export Finance CEO, said that African countries are moving on well despite the coronavirus pandemic. He added that Africa is full of opportunities, and in its high times, the UK inventors grab them and are part of success of the African story. Taylor said that the UK needs to support African countries since much better compared to these nations. Furthermore, the UK government is still one of the biggest G7 investors in Africa. For example, a £ 1.7 billion guarantee has been offered by the UK Export Finance to support Cairo monorail’s development in Egypt.
International Energy Agency statistics said that more than $100 billion every year is needed to boost Africa’s universal energy access by 2030. 40% of these funds would be used to install wind, solar, and other low-carbon energy production projects. The African Development Bank is one of the leading organizations that have promoted the speed of the continent’s electrification in its fresh agreement on the Energy for Africa initiative. This initiative targets to increase energy access to all Africans.
Wale Shonibare, who works at the bank as the director in charge of Energy Financial Solutions, Policy, and Regulation, said that Africa would greatly benefit from vast expert knowledge of London City the innovative financial solution. Shonibare suggested that structured approaches such as sustainable infrastructure growth and execution of high-scale electrification initiatives will attract UK investors. For instance, the Bank’s Desert to Power Initiative has high chances of attracting UK businesses’ interest.
Nicholas Oliver, the United Kingdom-based NMS Infrastructure Ltd’s Business Development Director, implored investors to join and partner with governments and local companies. He added that this is the best time to make an investment in Africa, saying that there is a great opportunity to invest in climate change as it presents a $3 billion investment by the year 2030. Nicholas ended his statement by asking what an opportunity? Olusola Lawson, who works at the African Infrastructure Investment Managers as the Co-Managing Director, said that electrification is the key for Africa to attain energy transition. Therefore, there is a need to invest in large-scale power plants to get more energy.