The importance of access to reliable, affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound energy services for sustainable development, particularly in developing countries cannot be undermined. As such, the Non–Aligned movement representing the largest collective global grouping of developing countries has recognized the significance of the enhancing international Cooperation through partnership in all forms of energy including clean and renewable energy. In pursuit of this, NAM leaders have extended their full cooperation with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organization to promote adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy. It was founded in 2009 and its statute entered into force on 8 July 2010. IRENA’s objectives are to become the main driving force in promoting a transition towards the use of renewable energy on a global scale.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Southern African Development Community’s Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together on expanding the disposition of renewable power projects with a particular emphasis on decentralized technologies across nations in Southern Africa.

IRENA and SACREEE intend to quicken renewable energy deployment power and accomplish universal energy access by establishing an atmosphere more favourable to renewable energy investment. The two parties will join in catalyzing policy advancement, capacity-building programs, and events to draw investment in the region. Further, the two associations will carry out joint actions under the Africa Clean Energy Corridor (ACEC) in the regions of renewable energy resource evaluation, long-term planning investments, policy, administrative and institutional structures. Execution of activities under ACEC gives an extensive chance to dodge greenhouse emissions in accordance with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Kudakwashe Ndhlukula, SACREEE Executive Director, stated that “SACREEE has implemented several joint programmatic activities with IRENA through the African Clean Energy Corridor initiative and the SADC Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Support Facility since 2017.” “The renewal of this MoU will expand and strengthen our collaboration in areas of mutual interest and given mandates. We, therefore, appreciate the continued partnership and support from IRENA towards the fulfillment of our mandate towards an energy secure and resilient society through clean, affordable, and sustainable energy solutions,” added Mr. Ndhlukula.

Southern Africa has seen a notable improvement in power access over the previous decade. This is largely because of a solid dedication from SADC member states to benefit from the area’s immense renewable energy potential to enhance energy security and meet rising energy needs. Consequently, the aggregate share of renewable in terms of power generation increased from 23 percent in 2015 to nearly 39 percent in 2018.

Nevertheless, regardless of considerable advancement, power accessibility remains a challenge. Francesco La Camera, IRENA Director-General, expressed that The COVID-19 pandemic has re-emphasized the importance of reliable, affordable, clean energy,” He added that “It has served as a stark reminder that the new energy age must be inclusive, just, and low-carbon if we are to achieve sustainable development in Southern Africa and around the world. Africa can seize the moment for meaningful change and dramatically improve socioeconomic outcomes by moving decisively towards the energy transformation. This agreement will bolster regional progress.”

IRENA and SACREEE thus intend to execute the Southern African Investment Forum to improve admittance to sustainable finance in the area. The forum will be part of IRENA’s commitment to the Climate Investment Platform, which has been created to enhance investment maturity and admittance to fund sustainable power projects. The forum will further aid networking between “projects, project developers, and potential financiers and investors.”

IRENA and SACREEE additionally restored their obligation to assist entrepreneurship in the locale. The two associations recently collaborated on setting up the SADC Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Support Facility. The goal of the Facility was to upgrade and reinforce the capability of small to medium entrepreneurs in evaluating the business possibilities of renewable energy, create suitable business plans and loan requests, and dealing with their businesses fruitfully.

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