The 25th edition of the Africa energy forum opened in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi Tuesday with delegates renewing the call for greater uptake of clean sources of energy in order to secure a climate-resilient future for the continent.
Kenyan President William Ruto opened the forum that has gathered senior policymakers, industry executives, investors, researchers and innovators to discuss energy security in Africa.
Ruto said securing a greener, prosperous and resilient future for Africa calls for the optimal harnessing of the continent’s vast renewable energy sources like hydropower, geothermal, solar and wind.
He said that by investing in cross-border energy projects, African countries will bridge the access gap that has stifled industrialization, poverty alleviation and social cohesion.
Ruto reiterated Kenya’s commitment to lead continental efforts in upscaling the adoption of green energy as a means to boost climate response, create jobs for youth and women and inject vibrancy into local manufacturing.
More than 3,000 delegates including ministers, heads of power utilities, regulators, multilateral lenders and investors are attending the 25th Africa energy forum taking place in Nairobi from June 20-23.
The four-day forum, held under the theme of “Africa for Africa,” will focus on strategic themes including scaling-up renewables uptake, breaking down barriers to green energy transition and positioning Africa as a hydrogen powerhouse.
More than 20 African ministers and investors from 82 countries across the globe are participating in the forum that is expected to adopt a new roadmap for revitalizing energy security in the continent.
Davis Chirchir, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for Energy and Petroleum, said that Africa’s premier energy gathering will discuss targeted financing alongside policy and regulatory incentives required to boost clean lighting and cooking in line with the continent’s quest for meeting net-zero targets.
“Charting a new course for energy security in the continent is paramount to help achieve sustainable development. We must therefore unlock our huge green energy potential and boost global climate response,” Chirchir said.
Simon Gosling, the managing director of EnergyNet Limited, an international firm that organizes investment forums for Africa’s power sector, said the continent should leverage a skilled workforce, technologies and innovations as it embarks on a green energy transition.