“Italy devotes strategic attention to Africa, and therefore access to energy and energy transition on the Continent are essential for us.” These were the words spoken by Deputy Minister Marina Sereni during the event promoted by the RES4Africa Foundation for its 10th anniversary. Minister Sereni added: “Population growth will greatly increase the demand for energy on the Continent: by 2030, half of the African population will live in cities, while by 2100, 13 of the world’s largest megacities will be in Africa. Today, about 600 million Africans do not have access to electricity, and the key question will be how renewable energy can help improve their livelihoods and social welfare.”
Minister Sereni continued: “Off-grid systems such as third-generation mini-grids, hydrogen from renewable sources, solar energy and wind power are opportunities that can help create synergies between the two shores of the Mediterranean, taking advantage of climatic diversity and seasonal cycles. Italy can become an ‘energy bridge’ for Africa’s sustainable transition, thanks to the great presence of our private sector and our commitment to the essential issue of access to energy, both at the regional and global level. Africa is paying a very high price for the Russian aggression in Ukraine, with serious energy consequences on consumers, producers, and a large part of the population that depends on energy for survival. Rising fuel and gas prices in the Continent will have a major negative impact on transport, trade and especially agriculture, further disrupting the worst ongoing food crisis in Africa in decades.”
“This is why today more than ever it is important to invest in green energy, to allow each Country to diversify its energy sources. This is all done by always considering the full involvement of local communities, as we do as Italian Cooperation. To reach this goal, Italy and the EU must confirm their full commitment to Africa, turning the promises made in recent years into reality. In this regard, the Global Gateway Initiative, launched at the EU-AU summit in Brussels last February, must become operational as soon as possible, to contribute to promoting electrification and energy transition, thus relaunching the overall development of the African continent”, concluded Deputy Minister Sereni.