renewAfrica takes to Luxemburg’s EDFI community and gathers endorsement of major financiers

18 July 2019, Luxemburg – Representatives of the European financial sector yesterday gathered for a half-day event in Luxemburg to discuss cooperation on the renewAfrica Initiative. Promoted by RES4Africa Foundation, the initiative was presented to the European Investment Bank (EIB), to the Dutch Development Bank (FMO) and to the association of European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI). The meeting closed with the EIB’s and FMO’s signature of the Declaration of Intent in support of the renewAfrica Initiative going forward.

The renewAfrica Initiative is a new European multi-stakeholder backed initiative to accelerate Africa’s sustainable energy transition. Officially launched on 4th June in Rome, it was endorsed by 20 private and public sector actors[1] that signed a non-binding Declaration of Intent to commit their interest and participation to the initiative. Since the 4th June launch, three more organizations[2] added their signature to the Declaration.

“The interest and endorsements that the renewAfrica Initiative is receiving clearly indicate the need and urgency for a new program to support renewable energy investments in Africa” stated Antonio Cammisecra, President RES4Africa Foundation and Sole Administrator Enel Green Power, “We’re glad to present it to and gain support from European DFIs and the European Investment Bank, as the initiative can only go forward if backed by a strong and multi-sectorial partnership”.

The renewAfrica initiative aims to stimulate the creation of a one-stop-shop EU Support Program, with its own institutional framework, to effectively strengthen RE investments in Africa and enhance European private investment in support of the effective deployment of RE market development in Africa. The initiative will seek the inception of a new European facilitating instrument that provides adequate support at policy and regulatory level, ensures preparation tools across project lifecycles, as well as financial de-risking and capacity building measures.

Accelerating Africa’s renewable energy transition requires the buy-in of multiple players, each contributing to their expertise and abilities. Strong collaboration with Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) is crucial to turn renewAfrica into reality, learn from their financing experience, and embed the program into the European RE community. Yesterday’s signature from EIB and FMO adds itself to the one of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, indicating the growing interest that renewAfrica is generating among European DFIs, that are mobilizing to support the initiative.

Apart from possibly providing financing and advisory services to concrete projects under the initiative, initially the EIB will seek a key role among the involved international financial institutions. renewAfrica is expected to increase the number of bankable public-private-partnership projects in the African renewable energy sector, to be competitively tendered, which the EIB and other IFI’s could potentially support.

“There is undoubtedly a need to improve the way in which European financiers can support renewable energy projects on the African continent” EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell commented, “As the world’s largest multilateral provider of climate finance in terms of lending volume, the EIB is very pleased to play an active role in renewAfrica. Bundling the strengths and experience of major European players can not only assist public institution in creating a favourable investment climate, but also lead to advisory and financial support for projects, so that they can tap the vast resources this continent offers for renewables”.

[1] The first 20 signatories of the Declaration of Intent were: ABB, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, DNV GL, EDP Renewables, Enel Green Power, Ge Renewable Energy, Intesa Sanpaolo, Nordex, Nordic Energy Research, Norfund, Pöyry, Prysmian, PwC, REC Group, Siemens Gamesa, SMA, Solar Power Europe, Soltec, Total Eren, Vestas.

[2] GWEC, Pöyry, SDA Bocconi School of Management