The RPF Chairman, President Paul Kagame has highlighted the need to integrate industrial policies with sustainable energy policies, in a bid to power Africa’s future industries without necessarily slowing down the continent’s development.
He was giving his keynote address in Kigali on Tuesday, May 17, during the global sustainable energy forum that has attracted over 2000 participants to review progress of the seventh sustainable development goal (SDG7) on affordable and clean energy for all.
President Kagame said that over the past decade, significant progress has been achieved towards the goal, despite a toll on the gains resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that today in Africa, more than half a billion people still don't have access to electricity.
“This energy crisis coincides with the threat of climate change. To which our continent is especially vulnerable,” he said.
“Switching to renewable energy is crucial. That is why creating an enabling environment to attract investment in sustainable energy is so important,” the head of state added.
Kagame also tipped the participants on ways through which Africa can create an enabling environment.
First, he said, expanding the use of off-grid technologies, and standalone systems can help bring power to rural communities in Africa more quickly.
For instance, the data centers that need to be built in Africa to support the growth of information, technology services are one example, Kagame highlighted.
Equally important, he added, vaccine manufacturing is set to grow on the continent in the coming years.
During the three day forum, dubbed SEforALL, the Chairman reiterated that there is a shared responsibility to ensure that ‘our actions match our ambitions.”
SEforALL Global Forum is taking place in Africa for the first time, and is being organised under the theme; “Driving action for a
people-centred energy transition”.