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Powering Africa Summit begins, looks to attract green investment

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Powering Africa Summit begins, looks to attract green investment

The Powering Africa Summit begins. Photo: Ludovic Marin/Pool/Reuters

The Powering Africa Summit begins today in Washington D.C. with a focus on capital and the green energy transition.

The annual conference brings together US agencies, investors, financiers and service and technology providers with African officials. Coming amid high fuel prices that partly stem from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the summit will focus on promoting ESG investment across the continent.

With stakeholders from Ghana, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya and more in attendance, the conference indicates that developing economies are readily looking forward to decarbonized and cleaner economies, though some countries, like Nigeria, may benefit from high oil prices. While continent-wide public fuel subsidies disincentive green investments, growth potential for solar and hydropower is high in the Sahel and Central Africa, respectively, and Kenya and Ghana have demonstrated the successful application of geothermal power.

In the short-term, the conference offers the U.S. an opportunity to build energy ties in Africa at a time when Russian oil is buying influence across the continent regarding Ukraine and China’s Belt and Road Initiative is targeting small, resource-rich nations, like Zimbabwe. In the medium and long terms, expect fossil fuel prices and concerns regarding climate change to spur further ESG investments.

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