Providing universal, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy access offers the opportunity to empower the people in Africa to decide the course of their lives through education, health and economic development. Sustainable energy lies at the heart of both the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Advancing to achieve SDG 7 can spur progress across almost all other SDGs- including for poverty eradication, gender equality, climate change, food security, health, education, sustainable cities and communities, clean water and sanitation, environment, jobs, innovation, transport, and displaced people. Africa is not on track to provide universal electricity access-to meet SDG 7-in the coming decade. Almost 600 million people will still lack access to electricity by 2030 in the absence of major changes (representing 90% of the total estimated population without access globally).1 Sub-Saharan Africa faces a set of challenges in the next decades, especially related to accelerating population growth,2 poverty eradication, climate change and environmental degradation. Moreover, the continent faces an urgent social, economic and environmental crisis in the lack of access to clean cooking. The clean cooking sector remains stunted, with 900 million people (over 80% of the population) lacking access to clean cooking solutions, including 70% in urban areas.3 This causes nearly half a million premature deaths annually, especially among women and children. Fossil fuels and unsustainable biomass also cause major environmental and climate damage, with an annual deforestation rate of three percent annually, leading to total forest depletion in various zones in sub-Saharan Africa. Meanwhile, Africa has low adaptive capacities and is highly vulnerable to climate change. The negative consequences are impacting across all economic sectors. [...]
Funding entity: European Union.