The growing global attention and massive interest by various stakeholders in promotion of Renewable Energy Resources necessitated by the negative impact of climate change, the need to preserve the environment for sustainability and diversify energy sources in the continent, demands that African national DFIs as catalyst for promoting economic growth and development through investments in economic infrastructure should be on the vanguard for promoting and financing of Renewable energy businesses.
This was the focus of a five day workshop on "Promotion and Financing of Renewable Energy Businesses", organised by the AADFI in partnership with SADC–DFRC, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the African Development Institute (ADI) of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). The workshop which was held in Midrand, South Africa from March 5-9, 2012 aimed to sensitize DFIs on the status and current trends in renewable energy agenda in Africa; share experiences of successful small and medium renewable energy projects, and enlightened them on how to set up and strengthen renewable energy unit in their institutions. The workshop also discussed prospects of mobilizing finance from various windows to support lending to renewable energy businesses. The programme marked the take-off of the green programme of the African national DFIs in promoting and financing renewable energy businesses.
The workshop drew good attendance of over 60 participants comprising CEOs, Directors and Senior Management Executives in African DFIs, as well as senior officials of International and Private Organizations involved in promoting and financing renewable energy projects. The participants came from the following African countries: Angola, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Discussions from the workshop showed the abundant renewable energy potential of the continent and noted that if optimally harnessed and made available at affordable rates, could increase economic activities, attract investments and energize the African rural economies towards reducing poverty and achieving the MDGs. However, one of the greatest barrier identified, remain dearth of awareness by some major stakeholders in renewable energy projects, and lack of skills in implementation of renewable energy projects by most African national DFIs. Consequently, the workshop came up with some recommendations among which were the need for AADFI and its partners to intensify awareness and training to enhance skills of DFIs' professionals in renewable energy projects packaging, appraisal and implementation.
The AADFI, in continuation of its sensitization programme on promotion of renewable energy resources will organize similar workshop for Francophone African national DFIs in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire in August 20-24, 2012. It will be noted that AADFI has in recent time organized a number of workshops in its effort to sustain advocacy for promoting green financing among its member-institutions for environmental sustainability.