Masdar to unlock Africa’s tremendous clean energy potential

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Masdar_Africa50 partnership
Officials at MoU signing

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) has partnered with Africa50, the pan-African infrastructure investment platform, to identify, fast-track, and scale clean energy projects across the continent.

The UAE’s clean energy champion has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Africa50, which will work to bridge the infrastructure funding gap and mobilize public and private finance.

Masdar brings its technical expertise and extensive experience in emerging markets, while Africa50 brings its experience developing projects in Africa, which, combined, can help unlock Africa’s tremendous clean energy potential.

Signed by Mr. Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, and Mr. Alain Ebobissé, Chief Executive Officer of Africa50, on the sidelines of Africa Climate Summit, the first of four global climate summits ahead of COP28, the agreement will see both parties work to catalyze sustainable development of the clean energy sector in Africa.

Masdar, one of the world’s largest clean energy companies and the largest in Africa, committed $2 billion of equity as part of the UAE finance initiative, which was announced during the Africa Climate Summit by Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), COP28 President-Designate and Chairman of Masdar.

The initiative brings together public, private, and development capital from UAE institutions, notably the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), Masdar, and AMEA Power. Africa50 is expected to join this initiative as a strategic partner.

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber_Masdar_Africa50 partnership
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber
UAE Minister – Industry & Advanced Technology
Chairman – Masdar

“We welcome this important partnership with Africa50, which brings a key stakeholder to the table for an inclusive, equitable and just energy transition. We look forward to working with Africa for Africa. The world must continue to close the gap in climate finance for clean energy investment in the global south, disproportionately affected by climate change. We need the public and private sectors to work together to deliver clean energy access across Africa, a key mission and objective of Africa50. This can be accelerated in countries with robust regulatory frameworks, clear transition strategies and a real commitment to developing grid structure.”

Mr. Al Ramahi said that “As the largest renewable energy company in Africa, through our joint venture with Infinity Power, it is fitting that Masdar, with Africa50, should take this bold step forward, which will unlock much-needed climate finance for the energy transition. It is a key strategic market for Masdar, and we are proud of our long-term partnerships and projects in Africa.”

“Our portfolio today includes Senegal’s first utility-scale wind farm under Masdar’s Infinity Power Holding platform (IPH), Mauritania’s first and largest solar photovoltaic project, and the development of Africa’s largest wind farm in Egypt with IPH and other partners. With Africa50, Masdar looks forward to unlocking the enormous clean energy potential across the continent,” Mr. Al Ramahi added.

Masdar has committed a total of $10 billion in clean energy finance, of which $2 billion will be generated from equity, with an additional $8 billion mobilized from project finance. This landmark investment will target the delivery of 10GW of clean energy capacity in Africa by 2030.

Mr. Ebobissé commented that “Partnerships are key to our goal of scaling up and accelerating the delivery of bankable and sustainable infrastructure across Africa. We are pleased to join forces with Masdar through this signing. We believe this step will become one of many on a journey to drive transformative projects supporting Africa’s path to net-zero and help build cleaner economies for future generations.”

Africa50 and Masdar will also explore opportunities to collaborate on implementing the Alliance for Green Infrastructure in Africa (AGIA), launched at COP27 by the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and Africa50.

The UAE investment initiative sits under the umbrella of Etihad 7, a development platform launched by the UAE at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in 2022 and spearheaded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). Announced in 2022, Etihad 7 aims to provide 100 million people across the African continent with clean electricity by 2035.

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