The African Development Bank's Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Amadou Hott, took part in the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in New Delhi co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and President Emmanuel Macron of France.
About 50 countries were represented by Heads of State and Government and Ministers including 11 African Presidents and several African Prime Ministers, who were joined by solar manufacturers, developers, financial institutions, green funds, innovators, start-ups and NGOs.
In his opening remarks, President Macron identified the three top priorities of ISA as identification of solar projects; mobilization of public and private finance at scale with a focus on guarantee instruments; and transfer of innovative technology solutions and capacity-building. Prime Minister Modi highlighted the need to ensure that better and more affordable solar technology is available and accessible to everyone. Vice-President Hott joined a panel of Minsters, international financial institutions and CEOs to discuss the financing of solar projects and concrete mechanisms to reduce risks.
The day preceding the conference, the African Development Bank signed a joint declaration with the International Solar Alliance on promoting solar energy in Africa in the presence of the Indian Minister of State for Power and New and Renewable Energy and the Indian Minister of Finance.
The joint declaration recognizes the Bank's New Deal on Energy for Africa, its energy policy and its leadership in working with governments, the private sector, and bilateral and multilateral energy sector initiatives to develop a Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa.
The declaration lays out areas of deeper cooperation between ISA and the Bank, including:
Developing innovative financial instruments to reduce risks and costs associated with solar investments and to leverage climate financing and commercial co-financing;
Supporting technical assistance and knowledge transfer for solar development and deployment;
Support for the Bank's 10 GW Desert to Power solar initiative;
Mobilizing concessional financing through the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) and other Bank-hosted funds; and
Developing finance instruments for off-grid solar projects, as well as large-scale solar independent power producers for African ISA member countries.
"This signing is an important milestone for the Bank in its efforts to lead the continent's transformation towards sustainable energy, through the use of solar technologies, and in its bid to reach universal access to energy in Africa," Hott said.
The International Solar Alliance initiative was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) on November 30, 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former French President François Hollande. The Alliance is conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to address their special energy needs. It will provide a platform to collaborate in addressing identified gaps through a common, agreed approach. So far, 32 of the 60 member countries who have joined the alliance are from Africa.