THE United Nations (UN) had recently reiterated its commitment to assist the African continent with regards to renewable energy and stronger economic advancement.

Dr Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, Director and Regional Representative of the African Office for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), is of the opinion that data gathered from more than 50 countries, strongly prove that with green energy, the continent could become a major player in the renewables industry. She opined that, at the same time, its potential could be reached, the economies could benefit and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) reached.

A policy guide had been published by UNEP for African governments, the Atlas of Africa Energy Resources and Koudenoukpo told the World Economic Forum that in her opinion, based on research, the continent’s energy resources “are at the heart of Africa’s socio-economic development.”

She also said that despite the continent with its plethora of natural resources was still falling short in providing sufficient energy resources. According to UNEP, energy consumption on the continent is the lowest in the world. The poorest African households spend 20 times more per unit of energy than wealthy households when connected to the grid.

Amadou Hott, Vice-President in charge of power, energy, climate and green growth at the African Development Bank, agrees with Koudenoukpo’s opinions and said the Atlas would provide easy access to information for all role players in the electricity generation industry. The Atlas had been prepared in co-operation with the Environment Pulse Institute, the United States Geological Survey and researchers at the George Mason University in Fairfax, USA and provides important information on sustainable energy development in sub-Saharan Africa.

With South Africa as the major contributor to the wind energy industry in sub-Saharan Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia and Kenya are countries upping the ante to sustainable green energy resources