RENdez-vous Africa: Driving Innovation to Secure Renewable Energy Transition

RENdez-vous Africa: Driving Innovation to Secure Renewable Energy Transition


Wednesday 8 June 2022

Time: 14:00 – 15:30 Central Africa Time (14:00 – 15:30 CET Paris)

Accelerating energy transition requires a range of technical skills to create a flexible, future-proof renewable workforce and increase salaries. In their recent report “Renewable energy market analysis Africa and its regions” IRENA notes that the creation of regional supply chains in the renewable energy sector can support the energy transition while achieving net job gains. But, while the sector today employs more than 12 million people globally, the number across Africa is minuscule: there are approximately 350,000 renewable energy sector jobs, less than 3% of renewables employment worldwide.

But to achieve the energy transition with renewables will take more than developing skills and creating jobs; it’s also about tapping into the continent’s potential for local value chain creation in turn driving economical development and innovation. The right investment decisions today will strengthen the continent’s foundations for the jobs, skills, and innovation of tomorrow.

To do this we need to understand the disruptive changes that are underway in the renewable energy sector. We have to unblock resource constraints. We need to align the government’s economic development policies and companies’ talent strategies with broader innovation strategies to create millions of new jobs, built on an ecologically sustainable economic model.

During this RENdez-vous Africa we answered the following questions:

  • Who needs to be involved in harnessing and developing Africa’s renewable energy workforce and what should their roles be?
  • What can Africa learn from successes on other continents?
  • How do we ensure that investments in capacity building ultimately result in the creation of strong local supply chains and spur innovation?

Did you miss the discussion or want a quick recap?

Watch the video below and read the Africa Roundup #5 newsletter.



Ivie Ehanmo, Electricity Lawyer

Mawulom Essel-Koomson,

Professor Abubakar Sani Sambo, World Economic Council

John Van Zuylen, AFSIA (Africa Solar Industry Association)

RENdez-vous Africa: Dialogue Series | Strategic discussions around renewables in Africa

Competing priorities—economic recovery, stabilising health crisis—exacerbated by COVID-19 are reducing the space for a public discourse for the uptake of renewables and the broader energy transition.

This clearly threatens the momentum renewables have generated over the last decade, and even risks reversing some of the hard-fought gains. The weak links in the sector, i.e. scattered voices, disconnected priorities, limited scale and resources need to be strengthened, particularly in critical hot-spots and in vulnerable countries. We need to work together more strategically, to bring renewables to the centre of attention and planning to drive economic growth, social equity, and innovation.

Doing this requires integrating renewables across all sectors and creating societal support. It is also about building and bringing the community together more strategically, to increase its collective influence in the global energy debate, linking global and local voices.

Making renewable energy mainstream also requires forging bridges outside of the renewable energy bubble well beyond the “usual suspects”. We need to identify, build on and collaborate with players to collectively widen and amplify the renewable energy voice. This means broadening the renewable energy community regionally and into new sectors. It also involves bringing the right information to this community so it can be more effective, strategic and influential.

The strategies and narratives to make renewable energy mainstream differ regionally. We need to understand the underlying drivers and drags to renewables uptake in each region and develop strategies to address or enhance them. In Africa, strategies to move to renewable energy need to be situated in the context of green recovery, energy growth and sustainable development. This is critical to create societal support for renewables, support economic development and innovation and develop a renewable narrative beyond the climate topic.

What is a RENdez-vous?

REN21 hosts these events to inspire and to offer opportunities to learn and share across sectors. While each event is unique, one thing remains consistent: at every RENdez-vous there is time to meet and network with people from the greater renewables community, inclusive of many different sectors. Learn more and join the next event…