Initiatives featured at UN climate conference aim to unlock finance for African countries, including through national Energy Transition Plans, growing African carbon market



SHARM EL SHEIKH, 15 November 2022 - On Energy Day at COP27, several African ministers called on their partners from the Global North to finance critical energy infrastructure needed for economic and social development across the continent.

Speaking on Energy Day, Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy, stated that rich countries must play a much stronger role in Africa’s energy transition and ending energy poverty. In particular, these countries must show greater financial commitment. 

“Over the last two decades less than two percent of global investment in renewables has gone to Africa, which makes it impossible for countries to achieve their energy access and net-zero targets. Much more finance for Africa is needed from the international community,” said Ogunbiyi

Energy Transition Plans

African countries are taking proactive measures to engage with investors and development institutions to catalyze investment in their energy systems. Ghana and Nigeria are among a group of countries who have developed Energy Transition Plans, which outline the technologies and support needed to achieve universal energy access and net-zero emissions by mid-century. 

“Ghana is a signatory to the Paris Agreement and is committed to its nationally determined target to address the adverse impact of climate change and increase access to energy for socio-economic development,” said Hon. Dr. Matthew Opuku Prempeh, Minister of Energy, Republic of Ghana. “The energy sector is one of the high-emitting sectors and therefore requires critical decisions if Ghana is to achieve net zero ambitions. Consequently, the National Energy Transition Framework has been developed [in consultation with stakeholders] for Ghana’s energy transition”

The framework was featured at an event last week, where Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and Bloomberg Philanthropies announced that the two organizations will work with Ghana’s government on the execution of its transition framework. Meanwhile, in an Energy Day session, the Government of Nigeria highlighted how its existing Energy Transition Plan has already helped the country secure USD 1.5 billion from the World Bank. 

Africa Just and Affordable Energy Transition Initiative

An Energy Day plenary session titled For a Just and Affordable Energy Transition in Africa featured calls for support from Ghana and Uganda. During the session, the Egypt COP27 Presidency announced the creation of an Africa Just and Affordable Energy Transition Initiative.

Working with partners like SEforALL, this initiative has three main objectives to achieve by 2027: securing access to affordable energy for at least 300 million Africans, transitioning 300 million Africans to clean cooking, and increasing the share of renewable energy by 25 percent by 2027.

Africa-Europe Cooperation

Building on the Africa Just and Affordable Energy Transition Initiative, SEforALL and the Africa-Europe Foundation have organized a Ministerial Roundtable that will allow African ministers to engage the international community for collaboration and support on African countries’ energy goals.

Leaders from Africa and Europe will convene this evening to discuss partnerships and financing opportunities for sustainable energy cooperation. The roundtable will include ministers and senior representatives from Ghana, Senegal, Uganda, Malawi, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the European Commission, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Netherlands and the UAE’s COP28 Presidency.

The roundtable will build on discussions first held at the SEforALL Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, where African ministers took initial steps in defining their requirements for a just and equitable energy transition. Countries then agreed on seven transformative actions towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 in Africa, outlining them in the Kigali Communique

Africa Carbon Markets Initiative

Another major initiative launched at COP27 to encourage private finance for African energy development is the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI). Its aim is to dramatically expand Africa’s participation in voluntary carbon markets, which involve international buyers – usually corporations – purchasing carbon credits to offset their own emissions, thereby financing clean energy projects.

“The current scale of financing available for Africa’s energy transition is nowhere close to what is required. Achieving the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative targets will provide much-needed financing that will be transformative for the continent,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy.

ACMI announced a bold ambition to reach 300 million credits produced annually by 2030 across the continent. This level of production would unlock USD 6 billion in income and support 30 million jobs. By 2050, ACMI is targeting over 1.5 billion credits produced annually in Africa, leveraging over USD 120 billion and supporting over 110 million jobs.
SDG7 Pavilion

SEforALL and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet are hosting the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) Pavilion in the Blue Zone at COP27 until 17 November. The SDG7 Pavilion is the main hub at COP for discussing and showcasing how to unite global efforts on energy, climate and development.
All open-door sessions at the Pavilion are also being streamed online here.

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. We work to ensure a clean energy transition that leaves no one behind and brings new opportunities for everyone to fulfill their potential. Learn more about our work at


15 November 2022