The “SDG7 Initiative for Africa”: Accelerating clean energy investments for access and climate ambition in Africa

The key factor that will determine the attainment of Africa’s development objectives is how the continent responds to its increasing need for access to adequate, secure and reliable energy services to industrialize, trade, provide better health and education services, reduce poverty and increase inclusion, boost economic growth and cater for population growth, a growing middle class, increasing urbanization and climate change. To address these challenges and spur inclusive and resilient economies in Africa requires new and innovative approaches to leverage limited public resources against a background of competing demands for resources to mobilize the needed investments, particularly from the private sector. The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) conceived the “SDG7 Initiative for Africa” to achieve this. The initiative is a mechanism built on three pillars - sustainability, governance and finance – to bring together countries, financiers and developers of clean-energy projects to align interests and combine scale and speed to fast-track financing from the private sector for deployment of clean energy in Africa.