October 4, 2020

Accelerating green energy transition in Africa through regional integration

This brief examines the challenges towards green energy transition in Africa and the prospect of regional integration in fast-tracking this process. Regional integration as being proposed among African countries can sidestep some of the constraints that countries, individually, face in the areas of finance, human capital and technology needed for transition. The study also reflects on the proposed Africa-Europe partnership as an important tool to strengthen this effort with support for regional integration and access to finance and innovations needed for green energy adoption.


  • National government: Domestic actors have a role to play in aligning their policy and regulatory frameworks with regional requirements. Specific interventions include: support with domestic resources (land, finance, inputs) to encourage regional infrastructure linkages, and appropriate legal measures to encourage local and foreign entries into the green sector.
  • Regional Institutions (African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat and AU): Gains and burdens from regional approach to energy transition are not expected to be shared equitably. A framework for compensating possible losers will be crucial to ensure broader support for renewable energy transition.
  • EU: A shift in development assistance to encourage a regional approach in transiting to green energy in Africa is required when regional solutions prove more efficient and cost-effective.

This policy briefing has been published as part of a series under the project Partnership for a Green Transition and Energy Access: Strategic priorities for Africa and Europe. The project is a partnership between SAIIA and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s Regional Programme on Energy Security and Climate Change in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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