Africa Progress Panel
At the same time, even though it contributes very little to the pollution of our world, it will pay the highest price for it.
This is how former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Prize laureate Kofi Annan frames the current landscape of Africa’s path to renewable energy, while maintaining the continent is a clean canvass full of possibilities and flexibility.
Annan has become an influential voice in the discourse on Africa’s energy resources, and he’s a member of the Africa Progress Panel, an entity that promotes equitable and sustainable development for the continent.
In that capacity he has recently called for a boost in investment in Africa’s energy to unlock its potential as a global low-carbon superpower.
The latest Progress report from the APP suggests that a ten-fold increase in power generation could provide all Africans with access to electricity by 2030.
And while Annan reckons that reliance on a traditional mix of resources will be inevitable in the short term, he believes that by turning to green energy, Africa could provide a significant contribution to the global fight against climate change.
Speaking to CNN’s Rosie Tomkins, Annan laid out his ideas and suggestions for Africa’s energy future.An edited version of the interview follows below.
CNN: When it comes to business and industries are there forerunners and pioneers in terms of renewables, because there is an amazing energy for this?
KA: You have young entrepreneurs, small and medium sized business, who are really doing this. Offering solar energy to villages to deliver electricity, even making it possible to charge their cell-phones. What would be exciting is an innovation or development in the area of energy that creates a disruptive device, a bit like the cellphone, where you don’t need landlines, you leapfrog that. I’m positive by the way things are going that we will be able to have developments or innovation that will not require that everything goes via the grid and you can generate electricity for large communities in a steady manner, and that will make a lot of difference in the lives of the people we’re talking about.