AFRICA – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) has announced the launch of Etihad 7, a UAE-led innovation program dedicated to securing funding for renewable energy projects in Africa.
The initiative was launched at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2022.
The program aims to supply clean electricity to 100 million people by 2035 and will raise funds from the public and private sectors for clean energy investment with guidance and coordination from the UAE’s MoFAIC and Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change.
The ambitious initiative builds on the UAE’s longstanding and deep ties with Africa and will be a focal point of the country’s efforts to contribute towards the global sustainability agenda over the next decade.
Commenting on the initiative, Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said: “United by economic, cultural, political, and people-to-people ties, our two regions are inextricably linked, with enormous potential for further cooperation in the years to come. One of the keys to unlocking that potential, supercharging Africa’s economies, and allowing millions of people to contribute to building a prosperous continent is electricity–specifically, renewable energy.”
“As the proud host of COP 28 in 2023, the UAE is committed to partnering with Sub-Saharan African nations to achieve sustainable development and promote the welfare of the larger region by advancing together in the field of renewable energy.”
Helping African countries meet energy requirements without spiking emissions
Crucially, the Etihad 7 initiative will help African nations meet fast-growing energy needs without the corresponding surge in greenhouse gas emissions.
“With Etihad 7, the UAE consolidates its UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 efforts for Africa under a single initiative. In line with the UAE’s foreign policy and development goals, the program facilitates sustainable development by solving key challenges that hinder clean and affordable energy in emerging markets,” he added.
“The robust relationship between the UAE and Sub-Saharan Africa is reflected in our partnerships and development projects. Today, the UAE is deeply invested in the prosperity and wellbeing of the entire African continent. We will leverage our existing relationships in Sub-Saharan Africa, including diplomatic, humanitarian, and development cooperation, to share the UAE’s renewable energy expertise to advance economic and human development,” Sheikh Shakhboot continued.
Furthermore, His Excellency noted that the UAE already has a number of agreements in place with Sub-Saharan African partners under Etihad 7 to join them in pursuing their clean energy and economic aims.
“Etihad 7 is a truly collaborative program, one that acknowledges and adapts to the needs and requirements of our partner nations…The UAE deeply appreciates the contributions of all African nations in this shared journey of development, and we in the UAE look forward with enthusiasm and optimism to a future in which our countries channel our cooperation into creating new avenues for our peoples to thrive,” His Excellency concluded.