Rome, 25 February 2020 – The fourth Steering Committee meeting of the renewAfrica Initiative was held today to reflect on progress made and outline the way forward.
The renewAfrica Initiative was launched in June 2019, backed by RES4Africa Foundation which is acting as interim secretariat, and by 25 organisations from across the entire European renewable energy value chain. renewAfrica aims to be a one-stop-shop programme that unifies the multitude of existing instruments of the European Commission and the development finance institutions (DFIs) of its member states. Reducing fragmentation will help create a powerful instrument able to maximize the impact of European funds currently already dedicated to supporting renewables in Africa. The comprehensive approach of renewAfrica will allow the programme to stimulate the creation of a pipeline of bankable projects at a scale that single instruments have not been able to do so far.
The latest Steering Committee meeting was held in early December. A number of milestones have been reached since, such as the official joining of COFIDES and EDFI, which signed the Declaration of Intent in Barcelona on 10th December. The joining of COFIDES and EDFI brought to five the number of organisations that have joined the initiative since its launch.
On 28th January, the 2nd signatories meeting was held in Brussels, during which renewAfrica was presented to senior EU institution representatives. European Commission Directors General Koen Doens (DEVCO), Ditte Juul-Jørgensen (ENER), Mauro Petriccione (CLIMA), and Birgitte Markussen, Deputy Managing Director of the European External Action Service, who all opened the Brussels meeting sharing supportive messages, underlined how the Initiative is on the right path and its aim is in line with the new Commission’s policy agenda.
Building on the momentum, the renewAfrica Steering Committee outlined the way forward. Following the progress made throughout the last months, the Initiative will focus its work on four priority streams: country prioritization, financial support, advocacy and outreach, and technical assistance. This new operational setting will enable the creation of four Task Forces, jointly coordinated by at least two renewAfrica signatory organisations, to gather inputs of the others, which will contribute according to their expertise in the specific field.
The renewAfrica Initiative will be tested in at least two African countries. During the meeting, the Steering Committee discussed a list of proposed countries including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique and Senegal as well as countries in the Sahel. The discussion was oriented by a number of criteria including but not limited to geographical location, macroeconomic conditions, ongoing policy dialogue, capability to integrate utility-scale renewable energy plants and the existence of alternative routes to market.
“We’re finding the renewAfrica Initiative adventure very exciting: in just a few months, it has received very positive feedback, gained great momentum, and enabled new partnerships at the European level. To be competitive and successful around the world, the European sector must act as a system: this is what is happening with renewAfrica” explains Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power and President of the renewAfrica Initiative, “The European institutional level is enthusiastic about the initiative; on our side, we are looking forward to the EU Africa Strategy, to see how renewAfrica can intersect with it and how we can contribute with this and other initiatives such as the European Green Deal and A Stronger Europe in the World”.