Ensuring access to reliable clean energy is UN Global Goal 7. And the need to accelerate efforts to achieve it has never been greater.
As medical systems face relentless pressure amid the Coronavirus pandemic, it is vital they have the power to carry out lifesaving work. To provide support in Africa, the African Union Commission (AUC) and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have teamed up to increase the availability of renewable energy access across Africa. This is key to critical healthcare services, which require energy for ‘medical equipment and water pumping to improve hygiene’.
It is time to use Africa’s enormous renewable energy resources for the benefit of the African people in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that energy is critical for all spheres of life and is now proving to be a matter of survival. The African Union Commission has made major strides to advance energy development in Africa through various programmes and partnerships. It is now even more urgent to fast track energy access efforts on the continent,” said H.E. Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission.
More than two-thirds of the least developed countries are in Africa. For too long developing nations have been short-changed by the energy transition. In the case of Africa, which has a wealth of renewable resources, this must change and fast.
“Renewable energy can cost-effectively supply the critical power needed in Africa’s rural communities to supply health centres, facilitate the provision of clean water, support agriculture and facilitate other productive sectors. Such measures are critical to the continent’s ability to deal with the pandemic,” added Francesco La Camera, IRENA Director-General. “Our response to this crisis must also promote long-term sustainable development and support for the achievement of NDCs. The deployment of renewables is therefore a foresighted strategy to ensure a resilient future, in which no one is left behind.”
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