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Africa to tap into China’s tech expertise to drive industrialisation

By , Senior contributor
Africa , 26 Jun 2024
African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina.
African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina.

African countries have been urged to fully exploit their vast renewable energy potential by using China's technology competence and investment capabilities.

Kevin Kariuki, group vice-president for Power, Energy, Climate, and Green Growth at the African Development Bank (ADB), believes that collaboration between Africa and China can advance sustainable development, alleviate energy poverty, and increase economic activity across the continent.

Speaking at the bank's annual meeting this week, Kariuki emphasised the importance of renewable energy in driving Africa's industrialisation.

“Investing in Africa’s renewable energy infrastructure can enable China to help build large-scale solar farms, wind farms and hydroelectric plants. These investments can provide reliable and affordable energy, crucial for economic growth,” said Kariuki.

The call for this alliance comes from Africa's underutilisation of renewable energy resources.

According to the Africa Finance Corporation's State of Africa's Infrastructure Report 2024, the continent has barely utilized a fraction of its potential, with only 1% of solar, 5% of gas-to-power, 6% of geothermal, 7% of wind, and 11% of hydropower resources being used.

Against this backdrop, the African Development Bank is challenging African governments to engage with China, whose involvement in renewable energy projects has already yielded promising results across the continent.

Recently, a Chinese-built solar power facility in Kenya's Garissa County contributed to the country's energy system, benefiting local enterprises and communities while lowering carbon emissions.

Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank Group, also weighed in, saying that such projects highlight the potential benefits of growing Chinese investment and expertise in Africa's renewable energy sector.

“China can share expertise and provide training to build local capacities for managing and sustaining renewable energy projects. This can be achieved through joint ventures, scholarships for African students in Chinese universities, and establishing research and development centres in Africa,” said Adesina.

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