The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) have formed a partnership to demonstrate the potential of decentralised renewable energy (DRE) to generate green jobs in the West African region.
According to the International Labour Organization, young men and women between the ages of 15 to 24 comprise 34% of the working-age population in Sub-Saharan Africa, with youth representing 10-20% of those unemployed. DRE can act as a prime catalyst for green job creation in Africa and beyond, creating direct green jobs in manufacturing, assembly, distribution & sales, operations & maintenance, as well as derived jobs in related sectors relying upon a stable source of electricity, such as rural agricultural industries and fisheries.
With increased support for the green recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, especially towards long-term skills development programmes, the DRE sector can thus be a gamechanger, creating jobs for millions of people, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. The creation of these new and enhanced jobs will boost GDP, support local socio-economic development, lighten the workload in various sectors such as agriculture, and contribute to long-term sustainability by fostering skills development across the workforce.
In this regard, the partners will team up to reinforce evidence based data of DRE to massively boost job creation at scale in West Africa. They will work together to identify the job creation potential of DRE in the region and disseminate the findings to key stakeholders, particularly policymakers and international funding partners.
David Lecoque, CEO of ARE underlined that: “We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with KAS focusing on DRE job creation in West Africa. As the least-cost electrification option for most missing connections, DRE provides rural and peri-urban communities with sustainable and clean electricity services while catalysing socio-economic development, local green job creation and effectively addressing climate change. By 2030, ARE strives to enable the private sector to catalyse the creation of more than 5 million green jobs.”
Anja Casper-Berretta, Head of Regional Program for Energy Security & Climate Change in Sub-Saharan Africa of KAS said that: “Climate change remains one of the biggest challenges of our time. At the same time, economic growth is a development priority for the African continent. KAS is therefore glad to partner with ARE in order to demonstrate how access to affordable and reliable clean energy as outlined in SDG-7 and sustainable economic growth can go hand in hand. In addition, the current global political situation has demonstrated that DRE and renewable energies are pivotal to energy security.“