The Head of State was speaking at the Sustainable Energy for All Forum taking place in Kigali from 17th to 19th May 2022.
The Sustainable Energy for ALL (SEforALL) Forum was originally scheduled to take place from 6-8 May 2020, in Kigali, Rwanda. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was initially postponed until February 2021. It was subsequently postponed until 2022.
Focusing on the theme, ’Building Speed, Reaching Scale, Closing the Gap,’ this Forum provides a global platform to mobilize resources, connect partners and showcase action to realize the promise of the sustainable energy revolution for everyone.
The event taking place in Africa for the first time brought together a diverse group of more than 2000 participants attending in a hybrid format. These include energy stakeholders to take stock of progress towards implementing SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and provides an opportunity to develop new partnerships, launch new financial instruments to close energy access gap, and connect with energy leaders from communities, cities, politics, business and finance.
Speaking at the event, President Kagame said that there are still gaps to be addressed despite registered progress towards universal clean energy.
“Over the past decade, significant progress has been achieved towards the seventh Sustainable Development Goal on affordable and clean energy for all. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed many of the gains,” he said.
“Today, in Africa, more than a half a billion people still do not have access to electricity. This energy crisis coincides with the threat of climate change to which our continent is especially vulnerable,” added Kagame.
To bridge the gap, the Head of State stressed the need to facilitate investment in sustainable energy.
“Switching to renewable energy is crucial. That is why creating an enabling environment to attract investment in sustainable energy is so important,” he noted.
President Kagame has highlighted that there needs to be increased financing to developing countries to support climate adaptation.
“By integrating sustainable energy in pandemic recovery plans, we can accelerate the transition to clean power. But the transition must be just and equitable,” he said.
“This means, it should align with Africa’s development priorities and aspirations to ensure no one is left behind. At the same time, there needs to be increased financing to developing countries to support climate adaptation in line with international agreements,” Kagame added.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) shows that developed countries account for around 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions which affects developing countries.
President Kagame has said that Africa should not carry the burden alone.
“Africa cannot carry the burden alone, especially given that its emissions did not create the climate emergency. However, Africa will be part of the solution,” he noted.
At least 800 million of the global population do not have access to electricity, majority of whom being from Africa.
Among others, 2.5 billion people mainly from Africa and Asia do not access clean cooking energy.
The UN Secretary General, António Guterres stressed the need to design special policies to deliver to the agenda 2030 to achieve universal access to electricity and take action on the climate change crisis.