The 2023 report on the development goals (SDGs) in Africa notes that the continent is lagging behind in progress towards the targets of SDG7. Namely, to ensure access for all to reliable, sustainable and modern energy services at an affordable cost by 2030. In 2018, only 20% of the electricity produced in Africa came from renewable sources.
Africa is lagging behind in progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), defined and adopted by the Member States of the United Nations (UN), to improve living conditions around the world. In terms of clean and affordable energy (SDG 7), the 2023 Africa SDG Assessment Report notes that electrification rates have increased, but the use of clean cooking fuels and technologies remains limited. In addition, the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies is slow.
Despite its rich potential for renewable energies, particularly solar thermal and photovoltaic energy, geothermal energy and hydraulic resources, Africa’s electricity supply remains precarious and uneven. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in 2018, less than half the population had access to electricity. Of the electricity produced in Africa that year, only 20% came from renewable sources.
Irena estimates that between 2000 and 2020, 2.8 billion dollars were invested in renewable energies worldwide. Only 2% of this investment was made in Africa, and less than 3% of the world’s jobs in this type of energy system are on the continent.
Increasing investment in renewable energies
To make up for Africa’s lag on MDG7, the report calls for increased funding for infrastructure and technologies to boost sustainable energy production in Africa.
Entitled « Accelerating recovery from the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 at all levels », The 2023 Report on Sustainable Development in Africa was published on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
At the World Summit on Climate Ambition, held on 20 September 2023 in New York in the United States of America, UN Secretary-General António Guterres also called for the acceleration of the ecological transition in Africa. In his appeal, supported by Greenpeace, Guterres also called on nations to make ambitious commitments to phase out fossil fuels. According to IRENA, nearly 70% of Africa’s total electricity production currently comes from coal, natural gas and oil.