United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based renewables firm, Masdar, signed agreements with Angolan, Ugandan and Zambian governments to develop renewables projects with a combined capacity of up to 5 GW.
The development projects serve as part of the UAE’s Etihad 7 Initiative – a global development initiative launched by H.E. Sheikh Shakhboor Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State in the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – that aims to raise public- and private-sector funds to supply clean electricity to 100 million people in Africa by 2035.
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“The UAE and African nations share a firm belief in the tremendous potential that clean energy offers to unlock economic and climate action progress,” stated H.E. Al Nahyan.
One of the agreements signed under the Etihad 7 umbrella included an agreement between Masdar and Angola’s Ministry of Energy and Water to develop renewable energy projects with a capacity of 2 GW.
“The project will improve production capacity, creation of jobs and the improvement of access to electricity by the Angolan people,” stated H.E. João Baptista Borges, Minister of Energy and Water for the Republic of Angola, adding, “We look forward to tightening the ties between our two countries toward development and partnership.”
Meanwhile, an agreement with Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development will see Masdar co-develop 1 GW of greenfield renewable capacity in the East African country, with H.E. Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development for the Republic of Uganda, stating, “This will go a long way to contributing to the attainment of our universal access goals and our energy transition goals. We look forward to developing this project within the agreed timeframe.”
Furthermore, Masdar signed an agreement with the Republic of Zambia’s Ministry of Energy and the country’s national power utility, ZESCO Limited, to jointly develop solar, wind and hydroelectricity projects in the southern African country with a total capacity of 2 GW in a phased approach over the next 10 years.
“ZESCO, along with Zambia overall, views the development of clean energy that is complimentary to hydropower as a matter of urgency for energy security,” stated Eng. Victor Benjamin Mapani, Managing Director of ZESCO Limited, adding, “We are reassured that we have found the right partner with Masdar and can say we are well-positioned to deliver value of mutual benefit through this partnership.”
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Despite a theoretical potential capacity of 850 TW of solar and wind energy, approximately 600 million people in Africa live without access to affordable and reliable electricity. As such, these agreements are expected to yield transformative benefits to local communities and serve to drive socioeconomic development for the continent while achieving net-zero objectives.