Editor’s Note: March 27, 2019

Africa is not ready for the renewable energy revolution

The global shift from carbon intensive to renewable, sustainable energy is slowing down. This is according to the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Fostering Effective Energy Transition report.

This ranks the ‘readiness for energy transition’ of 115 countries globally, benchmarking their energy systems according to security and access, economic development and growth, and environmental sustainability.

While renewables are generally becoming a bigger part of the energy mix, progress is falling short of meeting emission reduction goals. 

It’s a ‘reality check’, the report says.

No more so than for Africa, the world’s least prepared region. While renewable energy use is increasing, countries on the continent cluster towards the bottom of the index. This includes South Africa and Nigeria, Africa’s biggest energy consumers, ranked 114 and 109 respectively. 

High electricity costs, poor institutional frameworks and underdeveloped infrastructure are among the factors contributing to the poor scores.

The findings illustrate the difficulty of shifting from old to new energy sources, and how far off Africa is. It suggests that despite ample rhetoric, managing the transition to sustainable energy is not a high priority for governments. 

Unsurprising given that 600m Africans have no access to power at all, and the myriad other development challenges the continent faces.

Yet given how vulnerable Africa is to climate change, it ought to be.

From The Continent

Algeria’s army chief of staff has called for ailing president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to be declared unfit to rule, amid a political crisis sparked by unprecedented protests against the 82-year old’s two decades in power.  Such interventions by the military are rare, highlighting the significance of the protests. More: Africanews


Nigeria has unexpectedly cuts it key interest rate to 13.5% from 14%, the first time since November 2015. Central bank governor Godwin Emefiele said the move is part of a ‘new direction’ for policy, aimed at boosting growth in Africa’s biggest economy. More: Bloomberg

The Daily Stat

$93m

The size of a lawsuit by London-based resource company ENRC against the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, alleging misconduct in an investigation into the firm’s dealings in Central Asia and Africa. More: Reuters

The Global Perspective

Unilever, Coca Cola, Diageo and Nestlé have announced a new partnership to reduce plastic waste in Africa. The Plastics Recycling Alliance hopes to promote more effective policymaking and recycling. More: Environment Journal

The European Union is ending ship patrols, which have helped save thousands of migrants from Africa crossing the Mediterranean, as part of its ‘Operation Sophia’ programme. The bloc will instead rely on air patrols and coordination with Libya, despite the country’s poor treatment of migrants. More: Deutsche Welle

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