In Africa, we are already seeing the devastating effects of climate change, despite the continent producing less than 4% of global carbon emissions. Temperatures on the continent have been rising faster than the global average, leading to tropical storms in Madagascar and Mozambique, floods in South Africa and one of the worst droughts in the Horn of Africa. According to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 40 million people in Africa could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2030 due to the effects of climate change. We must act now to prevent further harm and suffering.
According to EY, 92 percent of oil and gas companies plan to invest in AI or will do so in the next two years. This is a massive shift in the way these companies operate, and it will have a significant impact on the climate. Access to affordable energy for the African people is the most pressing and immediate priority. The need for energy services across Africa will increase; ensuring it remains affordable is urgent. Achieving universal access to affordable electricity by 2030, as shown in the Sustainable Africa scenario, will require 90 million people to be connected to the electricity grid each year – triple the number in recent years. According to the International Energy Agency, global renewable energy capacity broke a new record with 295 gigawatts of capacity added in 2021 and is expected to reach 320 gigawatts in 2022.
As a result, we are seeing the beginnings of a green energy revolution across Africa. During the FIN International Trade and Investment Forum, a side event of the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, New York, organized by the Foreign Investment Network, which brought together leaders from business, government and civil society to discuss how to accelerate economic growth and Development through improved access to energy, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo stressed that all the efforts and energies directed towards Africa’s economic and social development will not be realized without a special investment environment on the continent for power generation, power distribution and create robust power transmission.
President Obasanjo stated: “I will challenge this forum to really work out what factors our leaders should consider, what factors Africans in the private sector should consider and what factors foreign investors will need and consider to be able to advance Africa in terms of our economic and social development In other words, we need to develop a comprehensive plan that considers the needs of all stakeholders if we are to see real progress.” Dr The International Energy Agency has projected an annual investment gap of $28 billion in energy in Africa by 2030.
According to President Obajsanjo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who also spoke at the event, said Africa could not industrialize without energy or have a solid continental manufacturing base: “At the same time, the world “We are being hit by numerous man-made and natural exogenous shocks that are difficult for policymakers These shocks are hitting a continent that is struggling to deal simultaneously with health, debt and energy crises with limited fiscal space.But we must not lose sight of the opportunities in this crisis.Africa is abundant in energy resources from gas to renewable energies, all awaiting investment. High global energy prices make new gas investment more evident, especially as a transitional mechanism of will. Even if we strive for renewable energy, we should focus on mutual benefit energy investment ning for Africa and the world by embracing opportunities to harness the continent’s gas and renewable energy resources.”
The importance of sustainable and renewable energy for Africa’s future was underscored by NNPC Limited Chief Executive, Senator Margery Chuba Okadigbo. Responding to a UN query, Okadigbo said the number of people living on the African continent will reach two billion by 2050. In addition, two out of five children in the world are born there. According to Okadibgo, “Meeting their needs with sustainable sources of modern energy – for consumption and production – will be essential for social well-being and economic development.”
While there is still work to be done to electrify Africa, the forum provided several key insights and actionable elements that can help move the Needle forward.
With the World Climate Summit just around the corner, some important news and announcements have been made in relation to renewable energy. The African Development Bank has announced that European and US donors will provide US$20 million in concessional loans to support PAYG solar companies in sub-Saharan Africa. This is a tremendous commitment that will help accelerate the transition to renewable energy in 15 developing countries around the world where there is ample potential for solar, wind and other renewable energy capacity. In addition, Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced that it is expanding its global clean energy transition program to 15 additional developing countries. All of this should make a difference at the upcoming climate summit and help countries switch to renewable energy. These are all very positive steps in the right direction, and it will be interesting to see what else the climate summit will bring.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a significant role in the energy future. Digital technologies help reduce global warming and achieve the SDG goals. AI could help improve energy efficiency and encourage the adoption of low-emission technologies such as decentralized renewable energy.
Following World Leaders, a CEO in New York, Chetan Dube, CEO and Chairman of Amelia, a leading enterprise conversational AI software company with a long history of innovations in automation and conversational A driving the future of work. Headquartered in New York City, Amelia has offices in 15 countries. His list of customer success stories speaks for itself: our technology impacts more than 200 of the world’s leading brands, including world leaders in banking, insurance, telecom and other industries.
He took the stage to discuss the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in empowering Africa. He emphasized that the African people will determine the future of Africa. “The people of Africa have always been the source of the continent’s strength. The people of Africa will continue to be the source of the continent’s strength,” he said. Amelia’s human-centric AI approach will help ensure technology is used to empower, not replace, people. Dube inspired audiences with stories about how Amelia is already transforming the lives of millions of people by expanding tasks such as customer service, claims processing, healthcare innovation, and various other use cases.
Going forward, Africa needs to focus on five key areas: climate change, access to energy, digital talent, digital transformation and AI.
- climate change: The effects of climate change are already being felt across Africa. Panellists agreed that Africa must take action to mitigate the effects of climate change and build resilience. Diversifying energy sources and investing in renewable energy will help reduce emissions, improve energy security and create jobs.
- Access: Access to energy is crucial for economic development and poverty reduction. Panellists discussed several initiatives to address this issue, including the African Development Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa and Power Africa initiatives. They also stressed the importance of the private sector in attracting investment and expanding efforts.
- Digital talent: The digital economy is growing rapidly in Africa, but there is a shortage of skilled workers. Panellists discussed the need to invest in education and training to enable Africans to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the digital economy. They also stressed the importance of private sector involvement to attract investment and scale up efforts.
- Digital transformation: Panelists agreed that digital transformation is essential for Africa to realize its full potential. Digitization can help improve efficiency, transparency and accountability while reducing the cost of doing business. However, to reap the benefits of digital transformation, Africa needs to have the right policies in place and invest in capacity building.
- AI: Artificial intelligence (AI) is a crucial tool that can solve many of the continent’s challenges. Panelists discussed various ways AI can be used to improve agricultural productivity, healthcare, and education. They also stressed the need for Africa to build its data and AI capacity to take advantage of this transformative technology.
Africa is advancing with smart energy and digital transformation.
This recent event in New York focused on the importance of smart renewable energy. A conversation also started on the role of digital transformation technologies in the energy transition in Africa. Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform the energy sector but is still in the early stages of development. By 2030, AI could have a $13 trillion impact on the global economy, with Africa predicted to be one of the biggest beneficiaries. However, to realize the full potential of AI, Africa needs to make the necessary investments and put in place the right policies. The energy transition offers Africa a unique opportunity to build a more sustainable future. Still, the continent must take ownership of the process and commit to a long-term vision.