Africa’s rapid economic expansion creates a daunting energy challenge, combined with rising expectations of improved resilience and sustainability. Finding a sustainable way to meet growing energy needs is one of the core development challenges for the continent. Africa is rich in renewable energy sources, including hydro, sun, wind and others, and the time is right for sound planning to ensure the right energy mix. Decisions made today will shape the continent’s energy sector for decades.

The Agency has engaged closely with African countries since its formation in 2011. IRENA has pursued strategic, results-oriented partnerships with African organisations and development partners, leading to concrete outcomes and impact on the ground. Strong linkages to the regional programmes and initiatives have heightened synergies in the pursuit of Africa’s energy transformation. 

Scaling up renewable energy deployment in Africa summarises the impact of IRENA's engagement with the continent. See also a more comprehensive overview

As is the case elsewhere, renewables are an increasingly favoured option in Africa because of environmental concerns but also, increasingly, because they are an economical option. Fostering the continued growth of modern renewables in Africa is imperative.

In Africa, IRENA is implementing the following national and regional programmes and initiatives:

Africa Clean Energy Corridor, a regional initiative to accelerate the development of renewable energy potential and cross-border trade of renewable power within the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) and Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).

West Africa Clean Energy Corridor, a regional initiative supporting the creation of a regional power market in the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP).

The African Union recommended “Member States, regional and continental bodies to integrate the concept of Clean Energy Corridors into their renewable energy and climate change agendas as well as in the design, implementation and update of regional and continental initiatives and programmes to support the continent’s transition to more suitable, reliable and affordable and low-carbon power markets.”

Pan-Arab Clean Energy Initiative (PACE), a regional initiative aiming to promote the integration of greater shares of renewables into power systems of the Arab region.

Entrepreneurship Support Facility in West and Southern Africa, regional initiatives supporting small and medium sized renewable energy entrepreneurs.

Renewables Readiness Assessment (RRA), which assesses the suitability of conditions in different countries for the development and deployment of renewable energy, along with the actions required to improve those conditions. RRAs which have been completed in Africa can be found under "Quick Links" on the right.