African Development Bank (AfDB) is increasingly focusing on the continent’s major basic needs. It involvement in renewable energy could push Africa to practically develop home grown technologies needed to generate renewable energy. The Bank has agreed to help administer and manage the resources of Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), and also to host the AREI Independent Delivery Unit as requested by African Heads of State and Government.

The AREI is an Africa-owned and Africa-led initiative of the African Union. It aims at harnessing Africa’s abundant renewable energy resources to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, enhanced well-being, and sound economic development by ensuring universal access to sufficient amounts of clean, appropriate and affordable energy; as well as help African countries leapfrog towards renewable energy systems that support their low-carbon development strategies while enhancing economic and energy security. In so doing the Initiative will ensure access to energy while addressing climate change. It is indeed Africa’s bold effort at transitioning to green growth.

AREI was launched at COP21 in Paris in December 2015 and is receiving strong international support from development partners who have committed to mobilizing at least $10 billion cumulatively between 2015 and now to harness Africa’s renewable energy potential and expand energy access across the continent.

AREI will have a governance arrangement consisting of a Board of Directors, a Technical Committee, an Independent Delivery Unit and a Trustee who shall serve as the Host of the Independent Delivery Unit.

France and Germany have already committed Euro 6 million and Euro 2 million respectively to support the Independent Delivery Unit. However it remains to be seen if the unit will be another outlet for products and services from the financiers.

The Bank will consequently host AREI as an Open Access Global Fund within the Bank’s Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Complex. As an Open Access Global Fund, accredited Implementing Agencies operating in Africa will be able to access the Fund. It will be functionally independent from the Trustee’s decision-making structures. The Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa is a partnership-driven effort. AREI will be a strong partner in ensuring that Africa achieves universal access to energy.