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UN officials urge African governments to set ambitious renewable energy targets

Release Date:2024-04-26 17:33:02     Source:Xinhua

Senior United Nations officials have said African governments must set ambitious renewable energy targets to contribute to the goal of tripling Africa's renewable energy generation capacity and utilizing the continent's rich mineral resources to implement the UN 2030 Agenda.

Speaking at the ongoing 10th Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development from Tuesday to Thursday in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina Mohammed said Africa is home to 50 to 60 percent of the world's most coveted solar energy resources, but the continent has only attracted two percent of global investments in renewable energy over the past two decades.

"Africa is home to a significant proportion of the world's mineral resources that are critical to the global renewable energy revolution -- an immense potential source of wealth for the continent, but only an insignificant portion of it has been exploited," said Mohammed.

Africa's electric vehicle value chain is estimated to be worth nearly 60 trillion U.S. dollars by 2050. Global financiers shall support African countries in their efforts to extract critical minerals such as copper and cobalt and help them generate renewable energy, Mohammed said.

However, she said, net transfers of capital from international financial institutions to developing countries fell by more than half last year. "International financial institutions are trying to buttress developing countries but have been unable to stem the tide. The capital is rather going out of the developing world," she said.

The UN official said bondholders and commercial banks have taken over 300 billion U.S. dollars out of developing countries in the last two years.

Speaking at the same event, Claver Gatete, executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, said African governments must delve into strategic interventions that leverage the continent's vast natural resources, particularly critical minerals, which are essential for the transition to green economies.

Gatete said renewable energy stands as a backbone for sustainable development in Africa, with untapped opportunities to drive investments and promote energy security across the continent.

"In addition to the unique opportunity the African Continental Free Trade Area presents to boost agribusiness and enhance food security across the continent, African governments must take advantage of the opportunities to tap into the vast renewable energy resources to turn the looming climate disasters into climate resilience," Gatete recommended.


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