Africa-China dialogue provides boost to green industrial revolution
24 MAY 2023 – Shanghai – The Africa Renewable Energy Manufacturing Initiative brought together businesses from Africa and China at the SNEC 16th International Photovoltaic Power Generation and Smart Energy Conference as part of its mission to deliver a green industrial revolution in Africa.
In a new show of South-South cooperation, the roundtable united leadership from 9 African and 14 Chinese energy businesses, as well as financiers and energy sector experts, to identify opportunities and strategies for increasing Africa’s renewable energy manufacturing and export capabilities. There was a specific focus on the potential for investment, and knowledge and technology transfer between Africa and China.
This opportunity for African businesses to directly express their needs for scaling up operations to Chinese counterparts was organized by Sustainable Energy for All and the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association. Both are partners in the Africa Renewable Energy Manufacturing Initiative, along with the African Climate Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and ClimateWorks Foundation.
“African countries can benefit greatly from local renewable energy manufacturing in terms of economic development, climate change mitigation and energy security,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. “But they need support to grow these industries and make them competitive, which calls for international collaboration with global leaders in renewables development.”
A report published earlier this year by the Africa Renewable Energy Manufacturing Initiative identified opportunities for solar photovoltaics (PV) and battery materials refining and assembly across a series of African countries. The report found that South-South collaboration, such as strategic partnerships with China, India and ASEAN countries, will be key to realizing this potential.
These international partners require a range of pull factors, such as local market potential, availability of necessary infrastructure, favourable enabling environment, and a strong local supply chain to be in place before they will consider investment opportunities in Africa. The roundtable today sought to address some of these key barriers.
Xiaohua Zhang, China Country Director of ClimateWorks Foundation, said: “Strengthening international cooperation on renewable power is key to advancing the global clean energy transition, addressing the climate crisis, supporting economic development, and benefiting people in their daily lives. As a global leader in renewables, China can play a pivotal role in promoting clean power worldwide. ClimateWorks Foundation is proud to support this South-South cooperation, and we hope to foster greater dialogue and partnerships among institutions and experts to help scale global green recovery and sustainable development.”
Okenwa Anayo, CEO and Technical Director of Nayo Tropical Technology Limited, was one of the African representatives who attended the session in Shanghai. “We at Nayo Tropical Technology see the Africa Renewable Energy Manufacturing Initiative partnership as a great platform to leverage in our new drive for growth, particularly through integration and scaled-up production in partnership with more advanced manufacturers from Asia and other parts of the world,” he said.
With a sharp focus on facilitating South-South cooperation, the Africa Renewable Energy Manufacturing Initiative is planning additional roundtables to be held throughout the coming year as it continues to drive investment and mobilize action for Africa’s green industrial development.
Stephen Kent, Communications Specialist, Sustainable Energy for All, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Sustainable Energy for All
Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) is an international organization that works in partnership with the United Nations and leaders in government, the private sector, financial institutions, civil society, and philanthropies to drive faster action towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7)—access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030—in line with the Paris Agreement on climate. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.