PRESIDENT Hage Geingob said that Africa has the potential to become a key player in the global energy market, but noted that the continent needs an investment of about U$120 billion per year to achieve full energy access by 2030.
The president made these remarks at the opening of the Second Renewable Energy Forum of the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), where he emphasised that “Africa should continue to speak with one voice and we should champion African solutions to African problems”.
Geingob suggested that the success of Africa and the AREI’s Phase II objective (which seeks to achieve additional renewable energy generation of at least 300 Gigawatts by 2030) hinges on policy convergence and regulatory reforms in the African energy governance architecture.
He said that this is crucial to unlock the potential of renewable technologies in green hydrogen, wind projects, solar power and other low-carbon generation capacities.
Geingob further shared that he is pleased that countries like Namibia, Egypt and Morocco are already taking the lead in Green Hydrogen and other low-carbon generation capacities – adding that Namibia intends to become a front-runner in the industry.
“Green Hydrogen is part and parcel of Namibia’s long term decarbonization agenda. We are focusing efforts on achieving large-scale, low-cost renewable energy development. To this extent, we intend to become the front-runner as a continental green hydrogen production hub,” he said.
He highlighted the importance of these efforts by explaining that we have no choice, but to work towards the provision of clean energy from renewable energy sources as the climate change crisis poses unprecedented threats to our existence.
“The task ahead of us is huge, but not insurmountable. The climate change crisis, which is posing unprecedented threats to our existence, leaves us with no choice, but to ensure the provision of clean energy from renewable energy sources to the majority of households and businesses in order to spur development in a manner that is sustainable for people and our planet,” he explained.
He further noted that the African Union Commission adopted the African Common Position of Energy Access and Just Transition at its 41st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council. This, he said, puts strong emphasis on increasing the uptake of renewable energy to ensure a low-carbon and climate-resilient trajectory for the continent.
In a broader sense, he added that there is also an urgent need to ensure to successful implementation of goal seven of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), if we want to meet the SDGs by 2030. Goal seven calls for ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.